Marko Arnautovic’s days at West Ham United look numbered as a mega money move to China beckons.
West Ham are facing up to losing Arnautovic after his 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).
West Ham won’t start negotiations at anything less than £50million, though.
Manuel Pellegrini told the press ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth that he is unsure what will happen.
Has Pellegrini drawn up shortlist of five strikers for Hammers owners?
But it seems he has already been busy targeting replacements to spend the money on.
According to reports delegations from West Ham have been sent to both Spain and Italy this week.
Pellegrini has been repeatedly linked with five top strikers in recent days and months.
As the old saying goes there is no smoke without fire.
So is the shortlist of forwards the Chilean has drawn up for owners David Sullivan and David Gold to pursue?
Sportitalia claim the Hammers have had a £35million bid accepted for Piatek. The Poland international has scored a remarkable 19 goals in 21 games for for Genoa but 19 of those were starts in what is his debut season in Italy. Sportitalia claims the deal hinges over a gentleman’s agreement Genoa have with AC Milan, as reported by Football Italia. At 23 years old Piatek would be an astute signing to prove West Ham mean business and are building something under Pellegrini.
West Ham United delegates have reportedly travelled to Spain to launch a bid for Celto Vigo striker Maxi Gomez. Radio Vigo, part of Cadena Ser, have confirmed an entourage from the Hammers are in Vigo to discuss a deal for a player Manuel Pellegrini wanted to sign in the summer. The Uruguayan striker reportedly has a release clause of £45m and has scored 26 La Liga goals in 50 starts. At 22 Gomez would be another astute signing from Pellegrini.
West Ham United want record breaking former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko to replace wantaway Arnautovic. That’s according to the Daily Star, who claim West Ham are lining up a January move for the Roma star. Calciomercato.com previously reported that Dzeko – who has scored a phenomenal 319 goals in 685 career games for club and country – was a top target for the Hammers. Dzeko would be reunited with former City teammates Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta should he join West Ham. And comments from the player himself will offer Pellegrini encouragement over a reunion at the London Stadium.
The infamous Sky Sources claimed last week that West Ham will target Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson if they do let Arnautovic leave the club. Wilson has also been linked with Chelsea after breaking into the England squad. His manager Eddie Howe is not keen to let him go. He told Sky: “In my opinion, and it’s just my opinion, I wouldn’t sell at any price – but I’m the manager, trying to create the best team that I can.”
West Ham might lose Arnautovic to China but they may also get his replacement from there. The Hammers were knocked back when they submitted a then club-record bid for striker Cedric Bakambu in 2017. According to The Telegraph at the time, West Ham offered Villareal £22 million for the jet-heeled forward. The Hammers were unsuccessful, though, and he was instead sold to Chinese club Beijing Sinobo Guoan for a staggering £66 million. The 27-year-old is a DR Congo international teammate of West Ham’s very own Arthur Masuaku. Bakambu has been a success in China, scoring 19 goals and getting six assists in 23 games for Guoan. The Hammers, Valencia and Real Betis are believed to be interested. According to France Football a return to Europe this month is highly likely for the striker.