David Moyes has been dealt a blow as he weighs up whether to try and bring Marko Arnautovic back to West Ham United.
Arnautovic has been heavily linked with a return to West Ham pretty much ever since his departure.
The Austrian was a revelation when Moyes converted him to a striker during his first spell at West Ham.
Moyes wants close look to see if Arnie can still cut it in Europe before making decision over potential return
But the star left the Hammers on a sour note, demanding a big money move to China just months after signing a bumper new deal in east London.
Moyes admitted he could consider re-signing Arnautovic when asked about his reported interest a couple of weeks ago.
And the Scot revealed he would be getting a closer look at him over the summer as he played games for his country back in Europe.
“Marko was great for me,” Moyes told reporters ahead of the recent game at Brighton.
“I loved having him at the club because I liked the challenge of trying to manage him.
Injury setback spoils Moyes chance to see Arnie vs Rice as he mulls move
“He’s someone who maybe wasn’t easy at times but I actually quite enjoyed it. I would never rule Marko out but I’m trying to move forward. I’m trying to build towards a new team, a new West Ham.
“I’m trying not to go back if I can help it. It’s not to say that I would never go there, I would do of course. We might get a chance to see how Marko plays in the Euros. I hope I do because I really like him.”
Well Moyes was handed the perfect opportunity to see his former talisman up close when he takes on his current talisman Declan Rice as Austria play England at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium on Wednesday night.
Moyes insists on watching players live before making decisions on any potential moves. And he reiterated that in a post season interview with The Daily Mail.
The Hammers boss is currently back home in Scotland for the summer so would have had an easier trip to the game.
Good news is that West Ham target should be fit for the Euros and could play in next warm-up friendly
But it emerged overnight that Arnautovic will now miss the game through injury (Daily Mail).
“We are taking his muscle injury seriously and are on the right track,” Austria team doctor Michael Fiedler told reporters on Sunday.
“But we will definitely skip the England game and not risk any injury.”
There was some good news for Moyes, though, as he will not have to wait too long to see Arnautovic in action.
The 32-year-old is not in danger of missing the Euros and may feature in the next friendly against Slovakia.