Marko Arnautovic is close to leaving West Ham to switch to the Chinese Super League at the second time of asking, according to French outlet Foot Mercato.
They report that Shanghai SIPG wanted Arnautovic in January but were unable to get him. It looks like they’ve got their man now, with a three-year deal on the table and set to be finalised.
Arnautovic has put in a transfer request at the Hammers and that looks set to be the final straw in his relationship with the fans after the way he agitated for a move in January too.
The sooner this saga is over for West Ham, the better. Manuel Pellegrini has brought in an exciting brand of football, with the club more united than it has been in years – Arnautovic was the outlier.
He was the maverick talent David Moyes needed to elevate his turgid style to acceptable Premier League level, but West Ham no longer need to tolerate his rank attitude.
A player who postures to leave twice has essentially ruptured his relationship with West Ham fans and if he was a Hammers player by the time next season starts, it wouldn’t be popular.
Getting around £36 million for him represents a profit on a player who is 30 – that’s very good business and should create a far more harmonious camp.