Bold prediction: Soon enough, we’ll be hearing that Marko Arnautovic either wants out of China, or China wants Marko Arnautovic off its land.
The combustible but powerful striker is set to depart West Ham United for Shanghai SIPG to the tune of $28.2 million, according to reports, with the majority of the club reportedly sick of his “will he or won’t he?” antics.
Arnautovic engineered a move from Stoke City to West Ham, then talked his way into an improved contract with the Irons before using his brother as a mouthpiece in a bid to move abroad.
Shanghai offered more than $40 million in January, but West Ham instead gave Arnautovic an improved deal. Now having reaped those rewards for a half-year, Arnautovic will leave London having cost his team those wages and nearly $12 million in fees.
Former Chelsea attacking midfielder Oscar, who now plays for Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League, sparked a brawl in hilarious fashion on Sunday.
In first-half stoppage time in Shanghai’s match against Guangzhou – who is managed by longtime Serbia manager Dragan Stojkovic – Oscar put all his might into a pair of kicks, smashing both against the bodies of opponents, one in each direction.
Guangzhou player Chen Zhizhao didn’t take too kindly to Oscar’s actions during the course of play, and with play stopped after the ball was launched out of play, Zhizhao shoved Oscar to the ground. This sparked a massive brawl with plenty of pushing and shoving.
And now former Chelsea man Oscar finding out that you don't boot the ball at players in the Chinese Super League…twice. pic.twitter.com/xQyTVpniWL
In the end, each side saw a player sent off, while Zhizhao got away with just a caution. Guangzhou received the brunt of the discipline, picking up three yellow cards and the straight red during the scuffle, while Shanghai only saw the one player red carded and nobody else cautioned.
The match ended in the 1-1 draw, with nobody scoring in the second half.
The duo, which earns a combined $839,000 per week in wages, failed to convert not one, not two, but three penalties in two games this week (below videos) — first in Shanghai SIPG’s 1-0 defeat to Urawa Red Dragons in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday, and again in a 1-1 draw with Tianjin Quanjian in CSL action on Saturday.
Oscar saw his first attempt against Urawa saved by the goalkeeper and pushed onto the crossbar, before blasting another spot-kick attempt over the bar 11 minutes later. Penalty-taking duties were thus bestowed upon Hulk this weekend, and he responded by completely fooling the ‘keeper before pushing the ball well wide of a wide open post.