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Arnie can go - but not on the cheap

Filed: Wednesday, 3rd July 2019
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United will not sell Marko Arnautovic on the cheap, despite his agent's latest outburst.

The Austrian forward's brother Danijel, who also acts as his agent bizarrely suggested on Tuesday that the club has treated his brother like "cattle", claiming that West Ham had been actively seeking to sell him since January.

And whilst earlier claims by Sky Sports suggesting that the player had submitted a transfer request are said to be wide of the mark, the Hammers are willing to sell Arnautovic - but not for much less than the £40million fee interested parties have been quoted.

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The 30-year-old was due to join the rest of Manuel Pellegrini's first team squad at their Swiss training camp in Bad Ragaz on Monday. However the manager will now have to determine whether or not to introduce a player who could prove disruptive to the squad.

The first rumbles of discontent regarding Arnautovic came in November 2018, when he refused to answer questions rearding his immediate future. "I don't want to talk about it. I am concentrated on West Ham," he told reporters at the time.

In the second week of January, an unnamed Chinese club were reported to have made a £35million bid for the player, although the accuracy of those particular claims were subsequently disputed.

The following week Michail Antonio said it was no secret that Arnautovic wanted to leave West Ham - stating that "everyone knows that Marko wants to go" - before Danijel Arnautovic, speaking in relation to the purported Chinese bid added that "he wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles".

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In the end Arnautovic's dream move fell through and he remained at West Ham for the rest of the 2018/19 season - but not before signing a lucrative new contract extension at the end of January.

"I want to say to the fans that I'm happy to stay," he said at the time. "I'm glad to play again. I never wanted to run away because I hate this club, this was never my intention."

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   arrow   In brief - Thursday's news round-up [18th Jul 2019]
   arrow   To improve is our only target, says Pellegrini [16th Jul 2019]
   arrow   Negotiations begin in £40m deal [12th Jul 2019]
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