West Ham respond to Rudi Garcia claims

Date published: Sunday 23rd October 2016 10:09 - Matthew Briggs

Rudi Garcia: Says he was approached by West Ham

West Ham have denied that Rudi Garcia was approached to replace Slaven Bilic earlier this season.

Garcia this week took over the reins at Ligue 1 club Marseille, but in an interview with L’Equipe he admitted that he was approached by the Hammers after their slow start to the season.

That has not gone down well at the London Stadium and they quickly rebuffed the idea in a statement.

A spokesman for the club told the Sunday Mirror: “West Ham United categorically deny speaking to Rudi Garcia or any of his representatives.”

Frenchman Garcia, 52, who also admitted to talking to Belgium before Roberto Martinez was appointed, was asked whether he had been approached by West Ham.

“Obviously. I studied everything. Whether the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga. I went where I was wanted the most,” Garcia told L’Equipe after being asked whether he considered the offer.

“I had a lot of proposals. My goal was to stay in a major European league or take a national team capable of winning the next World Cup.

“I am happy to be here. It is a great challenge, a new adventure, with a different direction.

“It is not starting from scratch, but there is much to build, and I like that.

“At all other clubs, I’d arrived as a replacement for a manager that had bad results. Here, this is not the case.”

Slaven Bilic

West Ham, who have struggled to repeat last season’s form, are sitting in 15th place after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sunderland.

Garcia left Roma by mutual consent earlier this week, but he has accused the Serie A club of “lacking class”.

“I expected Roma to free me from my contract, but it was not easy,” added Garcia.

“They could’ve shown more class, it’s true. I eventually left with less than 50 per cent of what the club owed me, but at least I managed to leave.

“The truth is I wanted to get back to work. Roma were hoping I’d just walk away with a handshake if a big club came in for me. It’s not about the money, but when you sign a contract, it’s only normal you respect it.”

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