A former teammate of West Ham United star Marko Arnautovic has been talking up a move to rivals Chelsea.
Former footballer turned pundit Steve Sidwell played just 15 games for Chelsea before being dumped by the Blues.
But that didn’t stop him talking up a move to Stamford Bridge for West Ham talisman Arnautovic.
The Austrian striker has been the subject of a £35million bid from an as yet unnamed Chinese club (Sky Sports).
Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate, Sidwell instead touted Arnautovic for a move to toothless Chelsea instead.
Chelsea flop talks up Arnie to… Chelsea
Sidwell did however say West Ham would be well within their rights to demand a lot more than £35 million.
“I played with Marko at Stoke and I said then he could definitely go into the top four,” Sidwell said on The Debate.
“He’s got that arrogance about him as well that he knows he’s a good player. He’s that focal point up top, he loves being there.
“I think he’ll cost a lot more than £35 million. I think it would need to be (£50 million plus). Me personally (if I was Chelsea) I’d go with Marko (for £50 million over Chelsea-linked Callum Wilson) because I’ve played with him and I know what he can do.
‘This is a big club I can match this’
“H’d be a player that would thrive there because he would go in there, and fit in the dressing room straight away, but he’d have the ego to go with it to say ‘This is a big club and I can match this’.
“He grew up at Stoke, he had his learning curve at Stoke. It took him time to realise how good he was, and grow up a little bit as well. I think the family side of it (has also helped him mature) with the kids coming along.
“Wow what a signing that would be (for Chelsea).”
Chelsea’s riches under Roman Abramovich may have elevated them to elite status.
But West Ham are hardly minnows.
Pellegrini at striker crossroads
Pellegrini is at something of a crossroads over his striker options.
Andy Carroll’s contract is up in the summer and he doesn’t suit the Chilean’s desired style of play.
Both Lucas Perez and Javier Hernandez have failed to establish themselves and have been linked with moves away.
And that has meant an over reliance on Arnautovic, which was no more evident than against Brighton and Brighton in the last two games.
A move for Inter Milan outcast Gabriel Barbosa is dead in the water over the inability to obtain the necessary work permit.
Pellegrini has also been linked with Liverpool’s Divock Origi and Barcelona’s Munir El Haddadi – read more here.