West Ham respond to Marko Arnautovic's agent over claims he wants out
West Ham United have reaffirmed that forward Marko Arnautovic is not for sale despite his brother's claims that the Austrian wants to leave the club this month.
Arnautovic has enjoyed a good season with the Hammers this term with eight goals in 17 games but his brother Danijel insists that he wants to leave the club and released a statement to talkSPORT on Thursday claiming that he wants to go to China to 'compete for titles'.
“West Ham bought Marko for peanuts. They paid £20m for him, which is nothing in the current market,” read a statement from Danijel to talkSPORT.
“They bought him to keep them in the Premier League last season and he did that. He took every award at the club; best player, signing of the season and the players’ award.
“Now West Ham have a fantastic offer. It is close to double what they paid for him.
“He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles. This is what he wants.
“It is his great desire that West Ham accept the offer from China.
“He knows the West Ham fans love him and he has a special connection with them, but things move on, this is the world of sport, and he hopes they can understand."
West Ham responded to Arnautovic and his brother by insisting that he is not for sale and said that they expect him to honour his contract which will keep him with the east London club until 2022.
In response to the statement from the brother and agent of Marko Arnautovic this afternoon, the Club has issued the following: pic.twitter.com/6A2p3glFhg
— West Ham United (@WestHam) January 10, 2019
Arnautovic has also been linked with a move to Chelsea.
The Blues are said to be in the hunt for AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain and Bournemouth forward Callum Wilson as they look to replace the misfiring Alvaro Morata but former midfielder Steve Sidwell believes Arnautovic could serve as a more cost-effective option for the club.
"If it was £50m between Wilson or Arnautovic I would go with Marko,” he told The Debate on Sky Sports.
“He would go in and fit in the dressing room straight away and have the ego to go with it to say 'this is a big club and I can match this'.
“You need that. You look at most top goalscorers and they carry teams on their backs sometimes.
"I think Stoke was his learning curve and he got a bit frustrated at the start. But in his second season he got his head down and concentrated and you saw his capabilities.
"It took him a while to realise how good he was and he grew up a little bit as well. What a signing he would be."