Marko Arnautovic was being lined up for a controversial return to West Ham United.
Arnautovic left West Ham for Shanghai SIPG in acrimonious circumstances in the summer of 2019.
But he has been linked with a return to the London Stadium in every window since.
Arnie heavily linked with West Ham return… again
This was no different as the likes of West Ham insider ExWHUemployee backed up news reports claiming David Moyes wanted to re-sign the player he transformed from an inconsistent winger to a deadly striker (West Ham Way podcast).
Sky Sports confirmed last week that West Ham had indeed been offered the chance to bring Arnautovic back to east London.
The report stated Arnautovic’s huge wages could be an issue.
The potential return has divided opinion among West Ham fans.
Potential signing divided opinion among Hammers fans
Some were outraged at the mere suggestion of bringing Arnautovic back after the way he behaved to force through a mega money move to China.
Others feel he could still do a job for West Ham and trust Moyes to do what is right for the team.
But the talk of Arnautovic’s return has finally been put to bed – probably once and for all given he turns 33 next season – by the player himself.
Speaking on Chinese social media platform Weibo, Arnautovic confirmed he is set to return to China to join back up with Shanghai SIPG, leaving his family in Austria.
Striker speaks and puts West Ham talk to bed – probably once and for all
“The break is over,” Arnautovic said on Weibo alongside a picture of the striker with his daughters at Christmas.
“Goodbye to my babies for now. Daddy has work to do. Can’t wait to be back in Shanghai. See you soon.”
Arnautovic is expected to arrive back in China today (Thursday).
Meanwhile West Ham appear to have moved on to another Moyes target Boulaye Dia.