Friday, 5 July 2019

West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic close to Shanghai SIPG move

West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic is close to a move to Chinese side Shanghai SIPG for £22.4m.

Arnautovic, 30, told the Hammers he wanted to quit London Stadium earlier this week when he learned of renewed interest from China.

West Ham's initial reaction was to tell the Austria international, who signed a new deal five months ago, to honour his contract.

But an increased bid has been received which is now likely to be accepted.

The Premier League club feel it is better to let Arnautovic leave than allow a potentially disruptive influence remain in Manuel Pellegrini's squad.

Arnautovic previously expressed a desire to take up a big-money offer from China in January, but remained with the London club.

West Ham are due to travel to China later in July for matches in Nanjing and Shanghai in the pre-season Premier League Asia Trophy tournament.

When Arnautovic signed a contract extension in January, he said: "The fans gave me the power, they gave me the energy.

"That's why I have to be here and that's why I want to stay."

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