West Ham United will check on the availability of David Moyes and Slaven Bilic as they line up possible replacements for Sam Allardyce as manager.
However, West Ham co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold face a battle to convince Moyes to leave Real Sociedad after just six months, with the former Manchester United -manager enjoying life in Spain and already planning for next season.
Allardyce's contract is due to expire at the end of the season and Sullivan has publicly insisted that any negotiations over a new deal will not happen before the summer.
Some West Ham sources rate Allardyce's chances of being handed a new contract as low as five per cent, even though the club are eighth in the Premier League, eight points behind fourth-placed Southampton.
Allardyce is understood to have met Gold at West Ham's Chadwell Heath training ground yesterday and there is tension over the club's bid to sign free agent Nene. The club's owners have instigated the move for the Brazilian forward, just as they won a tug-of-war with Allardyce to sign
Diafra Sakho, West Ham's top scorer this season.
Questions have also been raised over why Mauro Zarate was allowed to go on loan to Queens Park Rangers last month in the light on Andy Carroll's season-ending injury.
Sullivan's son Jack posted a message on Twitter that read: "The rumour that we have sacked Sam is TOTALLY FALSE. I wonder where these rumours even start."
What is clear is that Sullivan and Gold have started assessing their options ahead of deciding whether to let Allardyce go, with Moyes and Bilic of particular interest to them.
Moyes, 51, has been viewed as the perfect profile of manager to take over by Upton Park insiders since the Scotsman was sacked by Manchester United last April. He is still greatly admired for the fine work he did during 11 years at Everton, qualifying for the Champions League and regularly challenging for a top-four place.
Sullivan and Gold believe West Ham will be capable of similar achievements once the club move into the Olympic Stadium.
Moyes was appointed Real Sociedad manager in November, signing an 18-month contract with the club, who are 12th in La Liga. His reported wages of pounds 1.5 million a year are significantly less than the pounds 3 million a year Allardyce earns at West Ham.
Associates of Moyes, however, insist that he is extremely happy with his work and life in Spain, and is making transfer plans for the summer with Burnley striker Danny Ings a target. It would take a big effort from Sullivan and Gold to convince him to leave Spain so quickly.
Bilic may be easier to tempt, even though the former Croatia international is preparing for a Europa League tie against Liverpool with Besiktas, who are top of the Turkish Super League. The former defender played for West Ham for 18 months after being signed by Harry Redknapp in January 1996 and still holds a strong affection for the club.
Even though Bilic, 46, has managed Croatia and now Besiktas, Sullivan and Gold will be wary of the fact that he has no experience of managing in the Premier League. Knocking Liverpool out of the Europa League would enhance his prospects.
Bilic himself has made it clear he would like to return to England as a manager, saying: "I really like it here at Besiktas, I like this job, it's a massive club. I'm enjoying it big time. But, of course, I would say that, one day, I would be interested in England, of course I would."
Allardyce's future was put back on the agenda at the weekend after West Ham fans called on Sullivan to sack him following the club's 4-0 FA Cup defeat by West Bromwich Albion.