Marko Arnautovic seems destined to leave West Ham United for a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League.
An unnamed club has put in a £35million bid for the Austrian and, despite the initial offer being rejected, his agent has pleaded with the east Londoners to let him leave.
Should the Hammers receive a bid in the region of £50million for the 29-year-old – who appeared to wave goodbye to fans against Arsenal – it is understood they will let the striker leave.
In his place, a host of names have been linked with the club during the January transfer window.
Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson is being considered for a big-money move, while Newcastle United playmaker Jonjo Shelvey is being linked with a return to London.
So how could the Hammers look at the end of the month?
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4-4-2 (All-out attack)
Manuel Pellegrini is a firm believer that attack is the best form of defence and is not afraid to try to outscore teams.
With the clinical Wilson and Javier Hernandez up front, the Hammers would possess a frightening amount of pace up top.
Should they opt to go a bit more direct, the always reliable Andy Carroll will be ready and waiting for crosses to be hurled into opposition penalty boxes, creating plenty of chances.
Shelvey and Rice in midfield would provide plenty of stability as well for the attacking full-backs.
4-3-3 (Possession is the name of the game)
While 4-4-2 is always a great option for the Hammers, Pellegrini would perhaps look to save that for desperate times.
Instead, the Chilean could try to pass teams to death by using three ball-playing midfielders to pick out the forwards – all of whom want to get in behind defences.
Teams could find themselves faced with a genuine dilemma when facing the Hammers; press the ball and risk leaving space in behind or sit deep and allow them to potentially play through?
4-2-3-1 (The dream scenario)
IF West Ham can replace Arnautovic with Wilson, the England international’s link-up play with the creative players in behind could be lethal.
With Felipe Anderson firing and Samir Nasri and Manuel Lanzini also in contention, the striker can play on the shoulder of defenders and wreak havoc.
The midfield could find themselves in trouble of being overrun at times, so expect the wide men to track back and tuck in from time to time like a traditional four man midfield.
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