The Spaniard is currently a 5/2 favourite to take the hotseat at the London Stadium should under-pressure Bilic be given the boot from east London having suffered three defeats in a row to start the Premier League season.
Benitez was extremely close to being unveiled as Hammers boss when Sam Allardyce was let go three seasons ago but Benitez got a call from Real Madrid and, unsurprisingly, took them up on the offer.
Benitez was unable to save Newcastle from relegation the season before last but got them back up into the big time at the first attempt last season as champions and is still held in high regard by the Hammers board.
Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is second in the running behind Benitez at 7/2, closely followed by Celtic chief Brendan Rogers at and Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, who are both priced at 7/1 in the market.
Our sources in the north east say Benitez is likely to only leave Tyneside at the end of the season having been frustrated with the recruitment policy of owner Mike Ashley but doesn’t want to leave the Magpies in the lurch. West Ham would have to pay £6m to speak to the Spaniard and Ashley is likely to play hardball over allowing the manager to leave in any case.