Date: 11th January 2019 at 7:00am
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West Ham seem to have given up the chase when it comes to signing Nantes forward Emiliano Sala but they must attempt to get him as soon as possible after the recent reported speculation over Marko Arnautovic. 

The Hammers were thought to be in pursuit of the 28-year-old centre-forward as they were previously listed as one of the many Premier League teams chasing his services by the Daily Mail.

However since it was reported by France Football in December that the Hammers’ Premier League rivals Cardiff City had become the front runners for Sala’s signature, no more has really been said about Manuel Pellegrini’s desire to sign the forward.

Yet the London club need to win the services of Sala more than ever after their main goal threat Arnautovic’s future became less than clear.

Following an unspecified Chinese club making a bid for him and his brother, who is also his agent, telling talkSPORT that the forward wants to leave the London Stadium, his future isn’t guaranteed.

This is the case even though the Hammers provided an official update on the situation via their Twitter to claim Arnautovic was not for sale,  if the player’s head has been turned they may eventually have no choice but to cave if the right offer comes in for him.

Therefore Pellegrini needs to ensure a forward capable of replacing Arnautovic’s goals in the team is welcomed in case he does leave, and Sala is the player that would fit the bill.

The 28-year-old has scored 13 goals in 19 appearances and would be able to be a source of goals for the Hammers’ based on his attributes and form.

The only issues that according to The Sun Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock is in France for face to face talks with the player in a bid to convince him to join.

The newspaper state that Nantes are willing to sell the forward for around £20million and it seems the Bluebirds have no reservations about paying that amount as the price tag isn’t mentioned as a stumbling block in the article.

Therefore what this means is that the Hammers must hijack Cardiff’s reported £20million transfer talks to get Sala just in case the situation does go sour over Arnautovic.