West Ham are braced for another offer from Shanghai SIPG for wantaway striker Marko Arnautovic, which is expected to be in the region of £45m.
talkSPORT exclusively revealed last week that a Chinese Super League side had submitted a £35m bid for the Austria forward – which was swiftly rejected by West Ham.
However, SIPG are now expected to return with an improved offer for Arnautovic, 29, in the coming days, according to The Times.
Arnautovic has made no secret of his desire to leave the Hammers, and could earn up to £400,000 should he make the move abroad.
West Ham are insistent that the former Stoke striker, who joined from the Potters for £20m back in 2017, will not be allowed to leave in the January transfer window.
However, the new offer could persuade them to alter that stance, with senior first-team players speaking openly about Arnautovic’s desire to leave the club.
Michail Antonio revealed ‘everyone knows Marko wants to go’, while Mark Noble spoke with a sense of perspective after Arnautovic featured in West Ham’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal at the weekend.
“He said ‘Mark, whatever happens it is out of my hands, but as long as I play for this football team, I’m going to give 100 per cent,’” Noble said.
“And you saw that. Marko has got a reputation of maybe being a little sulky, but let me tell you he is a great lad around the dressing room.
“He is fantastic to have around there.
“Do we hope he doesn’t go? Of course, he’s probably our best player.
Most Read In Football
“But I always think it is such a short career. You work until you are 35 and then you have got to find another living, you go to China for five years on £400,000 a week, you don’t.
“If you are realistic, you can always see the football player’s point of view; he’s got kids and he wants to secure their future.
“Obviously he is earning fantastic money here, but the money in China is a different kettle of fish.”
Arnautovic’s current deal is not due to expire until 2022, with Championship side Stoke entitled to 20 per cent of any future sell-on profit.
Football Index Futures
Become a Football Futures Trader on
Trade £500 RISK FREE for 7 Days.
- Build your Portfolio
- Earn Dividends
- Sell at a Profit!
Get started from just £10 Learn more - join.fifutures.com