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West Stam? – Reading boss Jaap 'aware' of Hammers link

Jaap Stam has hinted that he could be lured to West Ham as a replacement for under-fire manager Slaven Bilic.

Reading boss Stam said he is "aware" of links to the Premier League club, who are enduring an underwhelming season in Bilic's second campaign at the helm.

A recent run of five top-flight games without a win has intensified the scrutiny on the Croatian, whose contract expires at the end of next season.

Bilic insisted on Thursday, ahead of this weekend's trip to Hull City, that speculation over his job security did not worry him, but it would appear one of his potential successors is already eyeing his spot in the London Stadium dugout.

"I'm aware of it," said Stam, whose side sit fifth in the Championship, of reported interest from the Hammers in quotes reported by The Reading Chronicle.

"That's what happens, it's the same with players who are doing well, they get linked with other clubs.

"There have been no discussions about me leaving. I need to focus on finishing the season with Reading and hopefully getting in the top six.

"If it happens next season then it happens next season, but I don't really want to think about that now.

"It's nice that people have recognised me, but I don't know if it's definitely true.

"Everyone wants recognition for what they do.

"I want to go as high as I can, but for now I'm thinking about where I am."

Former Manchester United defender Stam moved to Reading in June last year, signing a two-year deal.