Former West Ham United assistant manager Stuart Pearce has delivered a shock verdict on what he think will happen with Marko Arnautovic.
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.
Pearce: ‘Arnautovic will stay’
But could there yet be hope he will stay?
One man who knows the player better than most is Stuart Pearce. Having worked with – and got the best out of – him last season the view of ex Hammers coach and player Pearce carries weight.
And he told Sky Sports’ The Debate he believes the Austrian will in fact STAY at West Ham.
“From the financial aspect and the money they are talking per week it probably doesn’t (surprise me),” Pearce told The Debate.
‘I wouldn’t take £36 million’
“But the finance they are talking to take for him, bearing in mind they paid £25 million for him – they’re talking £36 million – I wouldn’t take £36 million.
“I think he’ll end up signing a new contract, a more lucrative contract to stay at West Ham personally.”
With speculation swirling around Arnautovic, Manuel Pellegrini has been linked with a number of potential replacements.
But Wilson gets Pearce backing for West Ham move
Sky Sports claims West Ham have already identified Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson as the man they want should Arnautovic depart.
Pushed on whether they would represent good business for the East Londoners Pearce was frank.
“I think that (selling Arnautovic to buy Callum Wilson) would be a fair swap,” Pearce added.
“If one wants to go out the door and don’t want to be at your club and it’s costing you no money to bring Callum Wilson in I think I’d do that deal.”