West Ham talisman Marko Arnautovic’s projected move to Shanghai SIPG has moved a step closer, according to Sky Sports.
They report that Manuel Pellegrini has said he will not stand in Arnautovic’s way of a transfer if the deal suits the player and the club.
But the Chinese outfit also reportedly want another player who was once adored by Hammers – before he left to rejoin Marseille – Dimitri Payet.
Before Arnautovic, Payet was the last man to hold the mantle of talisman in east London and now they could well end up in the same side.
Setting acrimony aside, Payet and Arnautovic are the best two attacking players in West Ham’s recent history at at the peak of their powers – and crucially popularity – they would have formed a mouth-watering duo for the Hammers.
That they are set to come together in China may indicate something about their motivation, but there can be no doubting their quality and what they did for the club during their time in east London.
Both have the talent to be absolutely elite players, but attitude has been a consistent issue for both, and in the end, losing both of them may hand Manuel Pellegrini a more harmonious squad.