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18 Jan 2011

Martin O'Neill has ruled himself out of the running to become West Ham's new manager, BBC Sport understands.

The former Aston Villa and Celtic boss looked set to replace Avram Grant at Upton Park this week.

But BBC 5 live's Pat Murphy said: "The way I read it is that it has all been too hurried for him.

"Martin O'Neill has never been the sort of manager to rush into decisions. He's always had a measured attitude towards his next move. He's very rational."

It has also been suggested that the Northern Irishman, 58, was angered by the way in which news of his likely arrival at the club was leaked to the media on Saturday ahead of West Ham's match against Arsenal.

Reports stated that the home game against the Gunners would be Grant's last fixture in charge, and he seemed to be saying his goodbyes on the pitch after the 3-0 defeat.

The 55-year-old Israeli applauded fans and threw his claret and blue scarf into the crowd before heading down the tunnel.

West Ham are bottom of the Premier League, with only four wins from 23 matches so far this season.

Grant, who succeeded Gianfranco Zola in June on a four-year contract, led the Hammers to their worst start in the Premier League, with his side winning two games before the end of November.

However, a run of more positive results in recent weeks, including a 2-1 victory against Birmingham in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final last Tuesday, suggested he might have won a reprieve.

O'Neill's reluctance to replace him may yet earn Grant a stay of execution, but other high-profile names have also been linked with the job.

Former Tottenham manager Martin Jol is available after quitting Dutch side Ajax in December, and ex-Bolton and Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce, who was sacked by Blackburn Rovers last month, is also in the running.

O'Neill has been out of work since quitting Villa just before the start of the season after a dispute with owner Randy Lerner about the resources needed to challenge for a Champions League place.

As manager of Leicester City from 1995-2000, he won the League Cup twice. At Celtic, he won the domestic treble in his first season, led them to the 2003 Uefa Cup final and claimed three League titles and three Scottish Cups in total.

After a brief period out of the sport to care for his sick wife, he joined Villa in 2006, guiding the Midlands club to sixth in the top flight for three consecutive seasons.


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