West Ham transfer for Rafa Benitez following departure of David Moyes

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Now the club is looking for a "high-caliber figure" to "take West Ham United forward in line with our ambitions".

David Moyes has left West Ham after the club decided against extending his contract. Everton finished the season in eighth place on Sunday.

The Chilean has emerged as a contender to replace David Moyes at the London Stadium following the Scot's departure earlier today.

As Sportsmail revealed on Monday, co-chairman David Sullivan spoke to Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca and his agent Jorge Mendes at his Essex mansion on Monday in a meeting arranged while Moyes was still under contract.

'All through his time right here, David has carried himself with dignity and honesty and we have now all discovered him to be a pleasure to work with, ' stated Sullivan. He, Alan, Stuart and Billy accepted the challenge and attacked it head on, turning around a hard situation.

Moyes took charge of West Ham in November past year, signing a six-month deal following Slaven Bilic's sacking, with the club in the relegation zone.

And despite West Ham securing their top-flight status with two games to spare, the English outfit have opted against keeping on the former Manchester United and Everton coach for the long-term.

Some Magpies fans may feel that their contempt for Ashley could not increase, but if they had to watch Benitez and Lascelles head to another club who find themselves in mid-table of the Premier League, those supporters may be able to find new levels of anger. The announcement on Moyes came barely 12 hours after David Gold, West Ham's co-owner, said he hoped Moyes would remain in charge for next season. They have held informal talks with Manuel Pellegrini, although the former Manchester City manager has also been heavily linked with Sevilla.

On Tuesday fellow co-chairman David Gold had claimed he wanted Moyes to stay but in a statement on Wednesday Sullivan said the club had made a decision to "move in a different direction".