Former West Ham United striker Marko Arnautovic reportedly wanted to seal a sensational return to the club, but has been unable to travel out of China due to the deadly coronavirus.
According to a report from The Mirror, the Austrian was keen to move back to the London Stadium just six months after quitting for the Far East, with West Ham even keen to have him back.
He will not be going anywhere today though, with all flights now grounded out of China
Since joining Shanghai SIPG, Arnautovic has scored nine goals in 15 appearances, but despite that the 30-year-old has been angling to move back to his old club.
Arnautovic’s departure from West Ham was rather controversial.
He was linked with a move to China in January 2019, but then surprisingly penned a new contract.
Just months later he completed his move to SIPG after constant speculation, where he has been earning £200,000-a-week according to a previous Mirror report.
Arnautovic’s replacement Sebastien Haller has struggled in his first season in English football, and the Hammers are keen to provide him with some support before the transfer window closes.
TBR’s view – Controversy avoided
West Ham won’t be re-signing Arnautovic and that’s surely a good thing.
Many West Ham fans are still irked with the way Arnautovic left the club, and him returning so soon would have potentially created a lot of animosity.
The Irons need more firepower, but Arnautovic would not have been the answer – given the standard he has been playing at over the past few months, to have got him back and thrown him into an intense relegation battle would have been extremely risky.