West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic has asked to leave the club, just days after a Chinese club launched a £35 million bid to sign him, reports The Guardian.
The Austria international has scored eight goals in 17 matches this season having moved from Stoke City to the Hammers in 2017 for around £20 million.
Last season, Arnautovic struck 11 times in 35 games to help West Ham overcome a dismal start to the season – even if he had a tricky start to life with the club when he was sent off in just his second league game.
The 29-year-old has a contract with the Hammers until the end of 2022 but a fee of £35 million would represent a profit for the London club.
Selling him would leave them short of time to find a replacement before the end of the January transfer window.
Accordingly, the report claims West Ham are adamant Arnautovic is not for sale – despite his brother and agent Daniel releasing a statement making his intentions clear.
Claiming the Hammers bought him for “peanuts”, it urges them to allow the player to leave.
“He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles. This is what he wants” the statement read.
“It is his great desire that West Ham accept the offer from China.”
The Guardian adds that other reports claim the offer is from reigning Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG.
However, they currently have no room on their roster to sign foreign players, suggesting they may not be the club in question.
Regardless, West Ham do not want to sell Arnautovic and expect him to honour his contract.