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Arnautovic faces bumpy ride at West Ham as they reject £36m China bid

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Marko Arnautovic faces bumpy ride at West Ham after they reject £36m offer from Chinese club... but he still expects to face London rivals ArsenalForward Marko Arnautovic is pushing for a move to the Chinese Super League A Chinese club saw an offer — believed to be close to £36million — rejected The West Ham striker is adamant he is ready to play against Arsenal on SaturdayBrother and agent Danijel demanded he's allowed to leave after receiving bidManuel Pellegrini has played down talk of Arnautovic leaving West Ham 

West Ham's Marko Arnautovic trained with the first team at the London Stadium on Friday, with manager Manuel Pellegrini in line to use the want-away forward against Arsenal on Saturday.

Pellegrini is expected to start the 29-year-old Austrian, despite his agent having explained that he wants to leave the club to challenge for titles in China.

It remains to be seen what type of reception he will receive from fans at the London Stadium. Arnautovic also has a habit of welding his arms in a West Ham salute after scoring, but may rethink that celebration if he gets a goal against Arsenal.

Marko Arnautovic, pictured training on Thursday, is the subject of a big-money bid from China

Danijel Arnautovic, the brother and agent of the club's joint-top scorer, revealed on Thursday that his client wants to go to the Chinese Super League.

A Chinese club bid £36million for Arnautovic, who is also being offered more than £250,000 a week. West Ham responded by telling him to honour his contract, which lasts until 2020. 

The statement from Danijel this week insisted his sibling would not go on strike to force through a transfer, like Dimitri Payet did to move to Marseille in 2017.

West Ham's star player has now told the club he wants to quit and move to the Far East

'West Ham bought Marko for peanuts,' Arnautovic's agent said. 'They paid £20m for him, which is nothing in the current market.

'They bought him to keep them in the Premier League last season and he did that. He took every award at the club — best player, signing of the season and the players' award.

'Marko is professional and is preparing himself for the Arsenal game. He will give 100 per cent for West Ham. That is Marko. He will never change. He hopes the fans can respect his wishes.'

Arnautovic was angry at Pellegrini over being substituted after just 20 minutes last Saturday

Within minutes, a clearly irked West Ham responded by simply saying: 'Marko has a contract and we fully expect him to honour it. He is not for sale.'

West Ham signed Arnautovic for a fee that rises to £25m from Stoke City in July 2017. He was made West Ham's highest earner and signed a five-year contract.

The club sense a similar saga to the one that saw Dimitri Payet force a move to Marseille in 2017. The Chinese Super League transfer window remains open until February 28.

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident Arnautovic will remain at the club

ARNAUTOVIC'S CAREER RECORD 

Twente (2006-10) - 59 games, 14 goals

Inter Milan (2009-10 - loan) - 3 games, 0 goals

Werder Bremen (2010-13) - 84 games, 16 goals

Stoke (2013-17) - 145 games, 26 goals

West Ham (2017-present) - 52 games, 19 goals

International: Austria - 77 caps, 20 goals

Manager Manuel Pellegrini, who worked in China with Hebei China Fortune, said: 'I talk with all of the players, always. Especially with big players. But we need to hear also what the player wants, what the club wants and I'm not talking about Marko Arnautovic, I'm talking in general. 

'To try to grow as a club we need to keep our good players, but in some moments every club can sell some players, bring in another one and it's part of the process that you are doing to grow, so we cannot just talk about one name.

'We know Marko is a very good player so maybe a lot of clubs will want him to play for their team but at the moment he is a West Ham player and we want to keep him. But you never know what can happen in the future.

'I am sure his head will be in the game against Arsenal. I don't think he will leave.'

The Arnautovic camp clearly have their sights set on an exit. While the promise has been made that the player will remain professional in his approach, his temperamental nature could yet prove divisive if he doesn't get his wish.

Therefore the club have had to make contingency plans to replace Arnautovic if forced to sell. They have earmarked Bournemouth's England international striker Callum Wilson as a potential target.

Wilson, 26, has a better strike record than Arnautovic and Chelsea are also interested in him. He is valued at close to £50m.

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