London (AFP) – West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini says the club are open to selling star forward Marko Arnautovic this month, but only if the price is right.
Arnautovic was the subject of a reported £35 million ($45 million) bid from an unnamed Chinese Super League club last week, an offer his brother and agent Danijel Arnautovic pleaded with West Ham to accept.
Shanghai SIPG are the side said to be interested and have reportedly offered Arnautovic a wage packet of £200,000 per week for a four-year deal.
West Ham have so far refused to accept any bids and urged Arnautovic to honour the contract he signed when joining the club from Stoke in 2017.
However, Pellegrini admitted that stance could change with an increased offer that would benefit both the club and the player, 29.
“They are not forcing me to sell Marko Arnautovic but I think as a manager the best thing is to take the solution that is best for the player and the club, both together,” said Pellegrini.
“If they agree, we don’t have any problem to change. I am not telling the club about it. If it’s a good deal for both parties we will arrange to be without Marko. But the club doesn’t want to sell him.”
Despite the speculation, Arnautovic started last weekend’s 1-0 win over Arsenal that lifted West Ham up to ninth in the Premier League.
However, the Austrian appeared to wave goodbye to the home fans as he was substituted 19 minutes from time.
Pellegrini, though, does not expect Arnautovic to refuse to play for Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.
“When you have such a high offer, everyone wants to leave but he has a contract here and we will know what will happen about it in the coming days.
“Of course you can’t blame him, he knows what is the best option for him and now we will see what happens between the clubs. I don’t think that the player will refuse to play.”
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