Fulham manager Mark Hughes is facing crunch time in his troubled Fulham reign – with the Boxing Day home match against West Ham likely to decide his immediate fate, according to the People.

Sources close to Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed say the Egyptian is running out of patience with the manager, less than five months after his appointment.

And despite the embarrassment of being rejected by Martin Jol in the summer, the former Tottenham boss would be the most likely candidate to replace Hughes.

Jol spent a week deciding whether to quit Ajax for Fulham back in July but although he stayed in Amsterdam at the time, he is now out of work and his summer negotiations with the west London club ended amicably.

Hughes has delivered only two wins in 17 Premier League games and if Fulham fail to beat the rock-bottom Hammers, Al Fayed must decide whether to dispense with his services before the transfer window opens.

Al Fayed knows it would be expensive to dismiss Hughes and his large coaching entourage, including assistant Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki, Kevin Hitchcock and Glyn Hodges.

Welshman Hughes retains a close ally in Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh, who worked with him for a brief time at Manchester City.

The postponement of yesterday’s match at Liverpool may have helped Sparky’s prospects as a defeat against former boss Roy Hodgson would not have gone down well with Al Fayed.

The Fulham owner previously sacked managers Jean Tigana, Chris Coleman and Lawrie Sanchez as soon as the club flirted with relegation from the Premier League.