West Ham badgeFormer West Ham defender Slaven Bilic has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Alan Curbishley as manager of the East London club.

Bilic, currently in charge of the Croatian national team, along with former Hammer’s boss Harry Redknapp, are the leading candidates to step in at Upton Park after Curbishley handed in his resignation on Wednesday.

Curbishley gave notice due to “a lack of control over transfer policy.”

Curbishley said decisions had been made “without involving me”, amounting to “a breach of trust and confidence meaning I had no option but to leave.”

The former West Ham player, who took over in December 2006, added: “The selection of players is critical to the job of manager and I had an agreement with the club that I alone would determine the composition of the squad.

“I have been incredibly proud to manage such a great club and my decision to resign has been very tough.

“Nevertheless, I wish the club and the players every success in the future.”

A West Ham statement said the club had accepted Curbishley’s resignation “in the best interests of both parties”.

It continued: “We wish Alan all the success in the future. A shortlist of candidates is being drawn up and an announcement will be made in due course about the new manager.”

West Ham also moved to justify the summer departures of Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney to Sunderland, two sales that particularly upset Curbishley, stating that the sales were “right for the club” and “based on our best long-term interests”.

West Ham’s next manager will be their fifth in the seven years since Redknapp left in 2001. Before that they employed just 6 managers between 1902 and 1990.

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