Md Confirms Meeting

West Ham United managing director Paul Aldridge has confirmed that the club has held initial talks with Steve McClaren about the vacant manager's job at Upton Park.

The Hammers' MD reacted to reports elsewhere that the Manchester United assistant manager had been offered the job Harry Redknapp left on May 9 by saying: "Manchester United gave us permission to talk to Steve and so far we've held one very long meeting with him.

"It was a very productive meeting, a lot of points came out of it and he's gone away to think about everything.

"We expect to be speaking to him again quite soon, within days rather than weeks, and I'll be surprised if Steve needs any longer than that to come back to us because nothing in our meeting was left uncovered."

McClaren joined Manchester United from Derby County in February 1999 and has also been a key member of Sven-Goran Eriksson's England coaching set-up this season.

A highly-rated coach who has underlined his reputation with the Premiership champions, now 40-year-old McClaren is keen to become a Number One in his own right.

It is believed that he has just been informed by United that he would not be considered as a possible successor to Sir Alex Ferguson - who leaves the Old Trafford hot seat at the end of next season, despite Fergie's own high opinion of his assistant.

In addition to West Ham, McClaren has also been linked with a possible move to Southampton and now relegated Manchester City, whose manager Joe Royle was sacked on May 21.