West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady has heaped doubt on the future of Hammers star Marko Arnautovic.
The 30-year-old was linked with a high profile move to China in January, but eventually opted to stay and signed a new contract. However, Brady has left the door open for a summer departure.
“It’s the same with every player – their future at the club is determined by the manager,” she told Sky Sports. “Not by the chairman, not by the board and certainly not by me.
“If he decides he wants him at the club and wants to offer him a new contract, like he did a few months ago, then that’s what happens. If he decides he wants a player to leave, then that’s what happens. The board support whatever decision he makes, and that’s the way it should be.”
This is interesting, isn’t it? You do get the sense that Brady has just opened up a big can of worms here. There’s really no need for her to be speculating on the future of Arnautovic or anyone else, even though her intentions are clearly good. She’s only trying to make the point that the manager has full control over personnel and what goes on from a footballing point of view, which is a good thing obviously. Pellegrini should be the one calling the shots on that side of things. However, by even speaking about the possibility of Arnautovic leaving, it’s opened the entire situation up to speculation once again. Ultimately, though, it does appear as if the Austrian’s fate is tied to Pellegrini. Should the Chilean decide he doesn’t want him then he’s out, it’s as simple as that. That’s what Brady’s getting at here, but you do sense that she might have been better off avoiding the Arnautovic subject altogether.