West Ham have decided to cut their losses on Marko Arnautovic and sell him for €25m (£22.4m) to a Chinese Super League club, believed to be Shanghai SIPG, after Manuel Pellegrini told the board to let the Austrian forward leave.
Arnautovic informed West Ham this week that he wanted to be allowed to move to China and, although the club initially told him to honour the contract extension he signed in January, they have since come to the conclusion that keeping him would have a negative effect on squad morale. Pellegrini is furious with the 30-year-old and the player’s teammates believe it would be better if he were sold as soon as possible.
West Ham rejected a bid in the region of £19m for Arnautovic on Tuesday, deeming that figure insulting, and initially hoped to take a hard line with a player who has scored 11 goals in each of his two seasons at the club. Yet there is an acceptance that Arnautovic, who was signed for an initial £20m from Stoke City two years ago, has become a disruptive influence in the dressing room and West Ham are expected to accept Shanghai’s improved offer of €25m.