Arnautovic announces stay at West Ham amid Chinese offer

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West Ham attacker Marko Arnautovic has confirmed on social media that he will return to play for West Ham amid a big-money offer from a pair of Chinese clubs that has seen the 29-year-old sit out the last Premier League match.

According to reports across England, Chinese clubs Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande have shown interest in the Austrian, and West Ham rejected a bid of $46 million earlier this winter. Arnautovic was reported to be interested in the offer and sat out last Saturday’s match with Bournemouth as he worked out his future.

Sky Sports reports that West Ham informed a bid of $66 million would be enough to see him move away from Olympic Stadium, but that did not materialize.

“Dear West Ham fans,” Arnautovic wrote on a post on his Instagram story, a sector of Instagram that gives posts a shelf life of 24 hours. “I guess it’s no secret that there has been an offer for me and I have to admit that the offer was a very tempting one for me and my family.”

“I’ve given 100% to my club duties but I have also needed some time to talk to my club, my wife, and the rest of my family. I have no decided to put all the writings and speculation. I’m a professional footballer and the only thing I know in life is to play in football. It’s clear that London and West Ham United feels like home for me and I hope that the West Ham fans have always seen that. The club has pointed my career in the right direction since I joined and therefore I want to put the offers aside, help the club climb as high as possible in the table and try to win the [FA] Cup. Let’s focus on the rest of the season together and let them bubbles fly. COYI.”

Arnautovic joined West Ham from Stoke City in the summer of 2017 and has made 53 appearances for the Hammers since, scoring 19 goals and assisting 10 others. Seven of those goals scored have come this season in league play, including a brace back on January 2nd against Brighton.