West Ham’s owners are beginning the task of scouting a replacement for manager Slaven Bilic if the club’s poor form continues, according to the Daily Telegraph .

West Ham, hovering just above the relegation zone, face a tough run-up to Christmas, playing three elite clubs in the next three matches, in addition to a second match against Manchester United in the EFL Cup.

Failure to garner points – a distinct possibility – could leave the club stranded by Christmas and, according to the report, co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan are putting in place back-up plans should their manager be unable to rediscover the formula that made his first season such a success.

The co-chairmen have steadied the West Ham ship in recent years and tried to back their managers but the current dire predicament – the poor performance of the summer signings, the discontent of star player Dimitri Payet, the failure to escape the bottom four and the unthinkable prospect of taking the new stadium to the Championships – have forced their hand, says the Telegraph.

Names on the list include Eddie Howe, out-of-work Roberto Mancini, Rudi Garcia and Rafa Benetiz, all of which present recruitment challenges.

Meanwhile the club are keeping tabs on £25million Daniel Sturridge and Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek as they look to bring some enterprise to the team.

West Ham’s pre-Christmas games

  • November 27: Man Utd v West Ham
  • November 30: Man Utd v West Ham (EFL Cup)
  • December 3: West Ham v Arsenal
  • December 11: Liverpool v West Ham
  • December 14: West Ham v Burnley
  • December 17: West Ham v Hull

Domingos Quina signs

Domingos Quina with Slaven Bilic

Midfielder Domingos Quina has signed his first professional contract with West Ham, keeping him at the club until 2019.

He turned 17 on Friday but he has already featured twice for the club after joining in the summer on an initial two-year scholarship.

Quina said: “I chose West Ham because it is a great club and they like to give young players opportunities to break into the first-team like Reece Oxford and I hope to do the same.”

Bilic said: “He has got everything and it is now down to us and up to him how much he is going to improve and dedicate his life to achieve something that God gave him. There is no doubt he has something exceptional.