O’Neill turned down West Ham numerous times

O’Neill could have rejected West Ham on three occassions

West Ham are set to announce Sam Allardyce as their new manager this week, after it seems Martin O’Neill turned the club down twice over the past fortnight.

The 56-year-old is likely to replace the sacked Avram Grant and is set to sign a contract worth an alleged �1.25million a year, while a �1m bonus will be paid if he gets the club promoted.

Allardyce has been out of work since he was sacked by Premier League side Blackburn last December and confirmed to a national paper that a contract has been agreed.

“Everything has been agreed in principle and I look forward to taking charge after I have had a family holiday,” he said.

“It’s always difficult dealing with the aftermath of relegation, but I want to get West Ham back into the Premier League as quickly as possible.”

Allardyce was linked to the job in January along with former Aston Villa boss O’Neill, with the latter apparently offered the role before turning it down.

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The same scenario is said to have occurred over the past few weeks with O’Neill apparently turning down the job twice.

Last Thursday, speaking at a Supporter Advisory Board meeting – a group who meet with the club’s board four times a year – co-owner David Sullivan conceded that the club had already approached a candidate, thought to be the Northern Irishman who had turned the opportunity down.

It is thought Sullivan offered the job once again to O’Neill and was awaiting his reply at the time of the meeting.

No name was given by the co-owner as to who the individual may be, but he did say they were British with experience of managing in the Premier League or in the Championship.

According to a fan who was present at the meeting which took place in the Legends Lounge inside the Boleyn Ground, Sullivan was said to be pessimistic about the chances of the individual accepting the job and his ‘gut feeling was that they would turn down the job because of a particular issue’ said to be unrelated to West Ham.

“He seemed like an honest person and he came across well and was friendly,” the fan told the Advertiser.

“He held his hands up about appointing Grant as manager and said he wears his heart on his sleeve.”

A different source claimed it was O’Neill Sullivan was referring to at that meeting and his pessimism was confirmed over the weekend, when his second offer was rejected.

Sullivan is said to be impressed by Allardyce and had no hesitation in offering the former Bolton man the job.

Cardiff manager Dave Jones was another linked with the club, but the Liverpudlian, who was sacked by Cardiff earlier this week told the Advertiser he had no contact with the club.