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West Ham United star Marko Arnautovic has been heavily linked with a big money move to China.

Arnautovic’s agent and brother Danijel told talkSPORT that the West Ham talisman has made his mind up and wants to leave.

The Hammers have taken a hardline stance and issued a short statement insisting their talisman is not for sale.

It comes after Arnautovic was the subject of a £35million bid from a Chinese club – believed to be Shanghai SIPG (Sky Sports).

The reports and statement from Arnautovic’s agent has understandably angered West Ham fans.

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Fans bemused by Arnie stance

Supporters are bemused why the much-loved striker would want to leave the Premier League for the footballing backwater that is the Chinese Super League.

Many would perhaps accept Arnautovic wanting to leave for the huge sums of money on offer if he and his agent were up front and honest about the situation.

But who better to advise Arnautovic on moving to China than a former Premier League striker who did just that.

Ex-Watford star Odion Ighalo moved to Changchun Yatai two years ago in the January window for £20million.

 

Ighalo has been a rare success in China scoring 36 goals in 55 games.

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Advice from a man who should know, Ighalo

That has not stopped the Nigerian international firing a word of warning to Arnautovic about life in the Far East.

It was an interview which Sky Sports dressed up as Ighalo recommending the move despite the striker admitting on several occasions he is desperate to move back to England.

“The culture and the life there is different, but when you are focused on playing football you won’t have any problems,” Ighalo told Sky Sports.

“The league is totally different from the Premier League. The Premier League is the best and one of the toughest leagues in the world.

“The training is not tough like in England. In England it is very difficult – you have to run every game.

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Arnautovic saga could be just beginning

“The league is still growing. They have a lot of foreign players and managers coming in and bringing new ideas. It’s getting better and better.”

Ighalo went on to say Arnautovic would enjoy Shanghai specifically as a city should he move there as it is ‘just like London’.

The Austrian’s West Ham future could be something of a protracted saga.

That’s because the Chinese transfer window does not close until the end of February – read full report here.

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