Guardian journalist Jacob Steinberg claimed on his personal Twitter account that the Hammers were ready to sell the 30-year-old forward with Pellegrini and the Austrian’s teammates wanting him out of the club.
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) July 4, 2019
“Manuel Pellegrini wants Marko Arnautovic out. So do the Austrian’s team-mates. West Ham ready to sell for €25m,” wrote Steinberg.
While Steinberg clearly believes Pellegrini wants rid of Arnautovic, which is believable if Sky Sports were correct to report he handed in a transfer request, he doesn’t exactly have much choice in the matter.
As after all how can the Hammers boss insist on keeping him if the players want him gone? After all, a toxic atmosphere in the dressing room has never led to positive results on the pitch.
Arnautovic was a key player for the Hammers in his 2018/19 campaign and Pellegrini is no doubt aware he will be a big loss.
The 30-year-old was the Hammers topscorer with 11 goals, averaging one every 184 minutes (Source: BBC), and was involved in 12 of the Hammers’ 15 league wins in their latest season, which shows what a key player he is for them (Source: Premier League).
So Pellegrini no doubt knows that life would be easier if he stayed.
The Hammers manager is also in no doubt he is capable of getting the 30-year-old focused after having his head turned, just look at how Arnautovic’s form recovered before the season ended.
The Austrian lost focus in January after a Chinese club put in a bid for him, as per Sky Sports, but Pellegrini did get the attacker back to his best before the curtain fell as he scored two and assisted one in his last three outings.