Michail Antonio has said West Ham team-mate Marko Arnautovic wants to leave the club and move to China.
The Austrian has been the subject of a bid from an unnamed Chinese Super League club, which the Hammers have rejected.
Speaking to Goals on Sunday, Antonio also said that if Arnautovic does make the move to the Far East, he will be difficult to replace.
Antonio said: “It’s been quite tight-lipped, but everyone knows Marko wants to go. He’s massive for the club, I think he’s joint top goalscorer right now, so he’s a big player for us.
“The fans love him, it’s just one of those things where in his life right now, he feels it’s another step for him and I think he’s going to one of the best clubs over there, where he might be able to win some trophies.
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“He’s coming to the latter end of his career, maybe he just feels like before he retires he needs a new step, and this might be a step that he wants.”
Arnautovic, who joined West Ham from Stoke for a then club record fee of £20million, has netted eight goals in 18 games this season to be joint leader of the club’s scoring charts along with Felipe Anderson.
When he was substituted with 20 minutes remaining in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Arsenal, he was applauded by the West Ham supporters and looked downcast as he waved back and made his way to the bench.
“He is a great character, he’s like a brother to me. If he goes he will be truly missed,” Antonio added.
“Replacing him would be a difficult situation.
“He has experience of playing, he scores goals and right now who could we sign to replace him? That’s where the problem lies.
“We would definitely need to sign someone too.”
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