Newcastle United manager Rafael Benítez has admitted he was close to being appointed West Ham boss back in May 2015.
The Spaniard, who managed to keep the Magpies in the league and secure a tenth placed finish in his first full Premier League campaign with the Toon last season, has been the subject of much speculation linking him with the east London outfit in recent years.
The two sides met each other on Saturday, the Hammers winning 3-0, and Benítez explained just how close he was to joining the London side after resigning from Napoli in 2015.
After it was announced that he was parting ways with the Partenopei, West Ham approached the Spaniard who, at the same time, was also being lined up as a potential successor for Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.
As quoted by The Mirror, Benítez said: "It (West Ham) was one of the options. That is why people talk about me and West Ham.
"The question with West Ham was when I was in Napoli. Then I got a phone call off Real Madrid. At this time I was interested. I do not have anything I can say about this or that (from May, when West Ham were said to be interested again)."
Benítez had coached Los Merengues' B team between 1993 and 1995 and eventually signed a three year contract at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, although he was relieved of his duties after just seven months, paving the way for a move to Newcastle.
The Spaniard, who won the Champions League with Liverpool and the Europa League with Chelsea respectively, has a contract at St. James' Park that expires in June. He insisted that there has been no new developments regarding his contract renewal, although it is alleged he will discuss his future at the club after the January transfer window.