Marko Arnautovic is growing frustrated with his bench role at West Ham and is “likely” to seek a summer exit, according to The Daily Mail.
Arnautovic went from hero to zero at West Ham after trying to force through a January move to China. And ever since that transfer saga, Manuel Pellegrini has kept him as a substitute.
This could lead to his permanent West Ham departure in the summer unless something changes before then.
Marko Arnautovic at West Ham
Arnautovic was West Ham’s record signing at the time when he moved from Stoke City in summer 2017. After a slow and frustrating start to life in East London, the Austria international soon found his feet and was transformed as a centre-forward under David Moyes.
The 29-year-old netted 11 goals in 31 Premier League games last season to narrowly keep West Ham in the Premier League.
And he started this season as he left off, netting eight times in 18 matches before the January transfer saga. Arnautovic tried to move to China with Shanghai SIPG linked with a £45m move (The Times).
In doing this, he lost the respect of a lot of West Ham fans, who were reluctant to forgive him even after he apologised on social media and signed a new incentive-based contract extension until 2023.
According to this report by The Daily Mail, Arnautovic is unsettled by his lack of starts at West Ham. He has only made four substitute appearances since his transfer saga.
Pellegrini could recall him against Huddersfield Town but if he remains on the bench, it only pushes him closer to the exit door.
It remains to be seen whether Chinese clubs will re-enter the race for the Austrian forward or whether West Ham will insist on his £45m transfer target.