Photo by James Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

West Ham United star Marko Arnautovic has been linked with a host of clubs in January.

According to the likes of The Guardian, Arnautovic wants to leave West Ham to join a club competing in the Champions League.

The Hammers talisman has been linked with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Arnautovic’s form for West Ham in 2018 puts him up there with the best in the league.

Speculation has suggested the Austrian could be willing to stay if West Ham pay him £200,000 per week.

Arnautovic was staying tight-lipped over the speculation when questioned after Austria’s win over Northern Ireland at the weekend (Sky Sports).

Photo by Justin Setterfield Getty Images

Everton links leave fans perplexed

It goes with the territory that if you have a player that stands out in your team, they attract attention from bigger clubs.

It is a food chain West Ham fans are familiar with.

Indeed Hammers supporters are a knowledgeable bunch and would reluctantly accept Arnautovic leaving for a top four club if the money was right.

It is speculation that Everton are also interested (Liverpool Echo) that has fans perplexed, though.

Everton are a great club with passionate fans.

But as a club they are certainly no bigger than West Ham.

The London Stadium may not be to everyone’s liking. But West Ham have the second highest number of season ticket holders in the country behind only Manchester United – more than 52,000.

Photo by David Blunsden Action Plus via Getty Images

Sideways move at best

Permission has been granted for the East Londoners to gradually extend their capacity to 66,000 too. That would give them the second biggest stadium in the Premier League as well.

The Toffees may be ahead of the Hammers in terms of operating regularly in the upper middle tier of the Premier League.

A Champions League side they are not and they are not likely to be anytime soon.

If anything Everton and West Ham are very similar sized clubs.

At best it would be a sideways move for the striker.

Photo by William Early Getty Images

West Ham are no Watford

But the suggestion he might join Everton, who at best might finish two or three places above West Ham most seasons, is laughable.

Everton might have been able to prise Richarlison away from Watford. But West Ham are another level as a club.

Arnautovic was staying tight-lipped over the speculation when questioned after Austria’s win over Northern Ireland at the weekend (Sky Sports).

Speculation has suggested the Austrian could be willing to stay if West Ham pay him £200,000 per week.

Whether that is the true driving force of this speculation remains to be seen.

Above all Manuel Pellegrini, and indeed West Ham fans, will be hoping they can keep their star man.

READ MORE: Robbie Fowler delivers emphatic verdict on Marko Arnautovic’s West Ham future