It’s not been a great start to the Premier League campaign for West Ham and new coach Manuel Pellegrini and this could be compounded more by the imminent departure of striker Marko Arnautovic.
Arnautovic whilst not coming out as wanting away via shouting from the rooftops like Eden Hazard at Chelsea has been hinting that now is the time for him to leave for a bigger club. Such has been the progress of a desired move away that Pellegrini has had to make his first denial in a recent press conference and for him the Austrian international will be staying. But it looks inevitable that he won’t.
In some ways it’s difficult to deny Arnautovic his move. He has never played for a top 4 club and at 29 he is approaching his last big transfer move. Reportedly Manchester United are very interested in taking the player and it would be a dream move for him. He may just be the perfect player for an Jose Mourinho side, a dogs of war side that have a striker up front, standing at over 6ft tall whose presence will be dangerous in set pieces.
For West Ham they were just taking to Arnautovic as he enters his 2nd season with the club and has scored 16 times from 47 games. It isn’t a brilliant return but with better players the feeling is that he can score more goals. Plus he puts in a superb work rate for the Hammers and will be surely missed.
The problem for West Ham is that if a deal is going to go through there are suggestions that a team such as United would not want to wait for the summer and have the transfer go through in January. This would be a huge body blow for a club who only have a small gap from the bottom three. Losing a player of this quality even if they will make a good profit at such a time as the 2019 run in could prove even costlier to the club in the long term.
West Ham will naturally resist all offers for now but if United offer £50m or upwards you would feel that the London club would take that. Plus on a personal level Arnautovic will feel that all of his hard work has earned him the right to play in a team that can realistically win trophies and push on and play in the Champions League. A shame for West Ham true but Arnautovic looks like he will be spreading his wings very soon.