West Ham United are allegedly searching for a new manager, following their disappointing start to the new season.
In an article by the Daily Mirror, former Croatian national team boss Slaven Bilic is said to be under scrutiny at present, prompting members of the Hammer's hierarchy to have already drawn up contingency plans with only two rounds of Premier League matches played.
Co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan are known for their reluctance to make mid-season managerial changes and Bilic’s current contract is up at the end of the season, but they are wary of being dragged into another relegation battle after last season’s struggles.
A failure to overturn the current pattern of results by Bilic could leave him in premature danger, and reportedly force Gold and Sullivan to seriously reassess the situation sooner.
West Ham travel to fourth-tier Cheltenham in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before back-to-back games against promoted sides Newcastle (away) and Huddersfield (home) either side of the international break.
Rafa Benitez is apparently well-thought of by the Iron's board, and recent rumblings regarding his reported displeasure at the Magpies' owner Mike Ashley failing to back him financially could fit into a narrative that would include him making a managerial switch from the Toon, should things go awry.
Bilic has been heavily backed in the transfer window this summer with Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez all arriving.
The Hammers have started the season poorly however, slumping to a thrashing at the hands of Man Utd aswell as losing against Mauricio Pellegrino's Saints, despite fighting valiantly in the hope of securing at least a point.
Their trend of conceding late goals has also continued, with three more shipped in the final four minutes of their opening two fixtures.
There is certainly more questions than answers at present in terms of the east London's club's trajectory on the pitch, and it will be of interest to see if Bilic can turn things round to prevent any alleged off-field matters costing him his job.