West Ham United have suffered a major blow in the pursuit of their reported managerial target Rafa Benitez, who has a £20 million release clause at his current club, according to The Daily Mail.

The Hammers’ current manager Manuel Pellegrini is under increasing pressure to keep his job secure with the London-based club’s series of unimpressive performances in the recent past.

Benitez has been touted as a potential candidate to replace the South American if West Ham’s results does not improve in the near future.

But it appears the Hammers will have to pay a buyout clause worth of £20 million in order to bring Benitez back to the Premier League.

The Spaniard is currently working with the Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang after leaving Newcastle last summer.

West Ham pulled off an excellent 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge recently, defeating Chelsea to give Pellegrini a much-needed reprieve.

The Hammers are back in competitive Premier League action on Monday night as they face London rivals Arsenal.

West Ham fans had high hopes for the current campaign, but after a promising start, things have started to regress for Pellegrini and the club.

Someone of Benitez’s experience and calibre would be a welcome addition should the Chilean be sacked by the Hammers – but certainly not at that price.