West Ham are reportedly looking to re-sign former star Marko Arnautovic on a free transfer as interest in the Austrian star heats up this summer.
However, Shanghai Port have reportedly decided to let Arnautovic leave for free this summer, saving on his lucrative contract that expires next season.
West Ham are reportedly monitoring former star Marko Arnautovic over a summer move
The 32-year-old left the Hammers in 2019 having failed to agree new terms with the club
Crystal Palace, Everton, Inter and AC Milan are understood to be monitoring the winger, while Italian side Bologna have opened talks with Arnautovic’s brother and agent Danijel over a move.
And Bologna paper Il Resto del Carlino reports that both the Hammers and Palace have enquired about the Austrian, while Everton contacted Danijel in January.
Arnautovic enjoyed a loan spell at Inter ten years ago before joining Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. He then made the switch to England where he played for Stoke for four seasons in the Premier League.
However, Shanghai Port are willing to let him leave for free so as not to pay his huge wage
Everton (L) and Crystal Palace (R) have also reportedly enquired over Arnautovic’s availability
The 32-year-old became a fan-favourite in east London but left under acrimonious circumstances after failing to agree a new deal with the Hammers, opting to move to the Far East and pocket a hefty sum.
Sky Sports reported last January that Arnautovic’s wage demands may serve as a stumbling block over a move, so he would be expected to take a pay cut to return to the London Stadium.
Arnautovic previously conceded that he underestimated the demands of the Chinese Super League, in which he has scored 20 goals in 38 games for Shanghai Port.
However, the Austrian’s wages could serve as a stumbling block for prospective buyers
‘I underestimated the conditions here. I was thinking okay, I’ll come here, like in Europe, let’s play a game, it should not be hard. It was very hard,’ he told Sky Sports last September.
‘I underestimated and I didn’t train and I didn’t look after my body, drinking fizzy drinks, what is not good for the body. Eating at wrong times.
‘I changed because I need to do better and be fitter, otherwise you can’t play here. When you’re not in a fit condition you cannot play in China.’
The Hammers have gone from strength to strength since Arnautovic’s departure, with boss David Moyes looking to seal a top four place and Champions League football for next season.