The newspaper claim on their website that the Hammers want to play hardball over the Austrian star leaving east London, having seen the forward hand in a transfer request to try and force a move elsewhere.
It is stated that a £40million fee is the Hammers’ current asking price but that they are to slash £10million off that to a £30million figure in order to green light his exit, with the feeling behind-the-scenes that he has “burnt his bridges.”
With 10 goals and four assists in the Premier League last season, Arnautovic contributed to over a quarter of all of the Hammers’ goals in the top flight, highlighting how important he was despite never really looking at his very best. The club would be losing quite an influence on the pitch, but it appears he has been a disruptive presence off it. A fee of £30million might seem a lot for a player who turned 30 not too long ago but considering there was a £35million bid reported back in January, the Hammers will be ruing their decision not to let him go then. This is the sort of transfer saga you expect to go on all summer and it would come as no surprise to see West Ham hold out for a big money fee until the final days of the window, when they might well accept a cut-price offer. Arnautovic has played games with the Irons for too long. Now could be the time they can make him sweat over getting the move he is seemingly desperate for – although the sooner they get that money in, the quicker they can reinvest.