Marko Arnautovic rocks West Ham by demanding to quit club

West Ham's Marko Arnautovic [Courtesy]
West Ham have been rocked by a bombshell confirmation from Marko Arnautovic that he wants to leave - but are refusing to be bullied into selling him.

In an explosive row the Irons have blocked a £35million bid from Chinese club Shanghai SiPG but the Austrian’s brother and representative Daniel said: “West Ham bought Marko for peanuts.

“They paid £20m for him, which is nothing in the current market. 

 “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.

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“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 remain insistent that Arnautovic will not be sold in this window. Plans to review his £100,000-a-week contract in the summer will not be brought forward because of the row.

A spokesperson said: “Marko has a contract and we fully expect him to honour it. He is not for sale.”

West Ham signed Arnautovic in 2017, paying £20m plus another £1m in agents’ fees.

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The Austrian’s previous club, Stoke, will receive 20% of any future sale.

The offer from Shanghai is seen as one that West Ham would not even consider.

The club’s fans fear it is a repeat of the Dimitri Payet situation, which saw the France playmaker force a move to Marseille after the club insisted he would not be leaving.

It is understood, however, that Payet was sold because then-boss Slaven Bilic finally wanted him out. Current chief Manuel Pellegrini wants to keep Arnautovic at the London Stadium.

Either way, it is the worst possible preparation for Saturday’s Premier League clash at home to Arsenal.

Arnautovic is West Ham’s joint-top scorer this season with eight goals in 17 games in all competitions. He is under contract until 2022 and seen as pivotal to the Hammers climb up the Premier League table.

He was the subject of brief interest from Manchester United last summer, attracting an enquiry from Manchester United which was rebuffed.

But the Irons now have a fight on their hands to retain their star striker beyond this month’s window and to keep him focused.

Daniel Arnautovic insisted that would not be a problem.

He added on talkSPORT: “Marko is professional and is preparing himself for the Arsenal game. He will give 100 per cent for West Ham. That is Marko. He will never change.

“Until he is no longer a West Ham player, he will give everything to the club. He hopes the fans can respect his wishes.”

Marko ArnautovicArnautovicWest Ham