West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini hopes the future of Marko Arnautovic will be resolved in the next few days after his star forward appeared to wave goodbye to the London Stadium.
Arnautovic has been at the centre of a major controversy after he told West Ham he wanted to leave English football and head to the Chinese Super League.
When he was subbed after 72 minutes in West Ham’s home win over Arsenal, he raised his arms to all sides of the ground as he left the field with the home crowd responding with applause.
An unnamed Chinese club have approached West Ham with a bid worth in excess of £36million and Arnautovic has received a contract offer in the region of £250,000 a week.
‘We will see what happens in the next few days and I hope he will take the best decision,’ said Pellegrini after his side’s victory.
‘I have been in this position a lot of times in my 30 years but I am calm with nothing 100 per cent sure.’
Arnautovic’s brother and agent Danijel told TalkSport radio last week: ‘West Ham bought Marko for peanuts. They paid £20m for him, which is nothing in the current market. Now West Ham have a fantastic offer.
‘It is close to double what they paid for him. He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles. This is what he wants.’
West Ham, for their part, insist Arnautovic will not be sold but are braced for another offer of £40m for the Austrian and the 29-year-old will continue to push for a move.
In contrast to West Ham’s last want-away star, Dimitri Payet, who left to join Marseille in 2017, Arnautovic has continued to train at a high level. He insisted he wanted to start on Saturday and led the forward line at the London Stadium.