Marko Arnautović's reaction at full time suggests China move is imminent
Looks like he's off
Marko Arnautović may have played his last game for West Ham United, as he put in a lacklustre performance against Arsenal in Saturday's early kick-off.
The Austrian forward has been the subject of much speculation over the past few days after an unnamed Chinese club submitted a bid for him believed to be in the region of £35m.
The offer reportedly includes a big, big pay rise for Arnautović, and all signs point towards him moving despite West Ham's insistence that he is not for sale.
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
Arnautović started up front against Arsenal this afternoon, but was subbed off after 71 minutes for Andy Carroll. As he exited the pitch, he gave the sort of applause to the home fans which has always meant 'thank you, but I'm off'.
His reaction at full-time would paint the same picture. As the London Stadium erupted, celebrating a 1-0 home win against Arsenal thanks to Declan Rice's goal, Arnautović could not crack a smile.
Instead he immediately walked straight down the tunnel with body language reminiscent of a stroppy teenager who's been told they're not allowed to go to a party, despite all their friends being allowed to.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 12, 2019
West Ham and Arnautović have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship over the past year and a half, as he helped them stay up under David Moyes last season and the club helped him rediscover his best form.
It now looks as though that relationship has run its course.