West Ham rule out Marko Arnautovic sale in January transfer window amid Man Utd links

KEN DYER
Evening Standard
Smiles ahead: Marko Arnautovic is “happy” at West Ham, according to Manuel Pellegrini: REUTERS
Smiles ahead: Marko Arnautovic is “happy” at West Ham, according to Manuel Pellegrini: REUTERS

West Ham will resist all attempts to sign Marko Arnautovic during the January transfer window.

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Arnautovic but West Ham’s board have ruled out selling the influential striker.

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West Ham signed Arnautovic from Stoke for £23m in July 2017 but remain determined to keep hold of him, despite the chance to double their money.

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West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini insists Arnautovic is “happy” at the club, despite comments from Arnautovic’s brother and agent, Danijel, who said “he needs to play at a top team.”

West Ham were today assessing a hip injury which forced the 29-year-old Austrian international to be substituted late on in the 4-0 home defeat by Manchester City.

Pellegrini was criticised for his team selection for the match against the champions, particularly his decision to play Arthur Masuaku at left-back instead of Aaron Cresswell.

Masuaku was culpable for at least two of City’s three first-half goals and was replaced for the second half.

“When you as a manager decide your team it is for different reasons and you think that is the best starting XI,” said Pellegrini, whose side are 13th in the Premier League table, four points above the drop zone.

“Every player can have a bad day. I think we had too many problems in that side. It was not a change at half-time because he [Masuaku] was responsible for the goals but because we also lose the marking in the middle of the goal.”

Pellegrini was impressed by his team’s application, though, and said: “It is difficult to understand how we conceded such easy goals but one thing that made me happy was the players always believed they could win. I am happy with the personality, the spirit of the team, a lot of things but I am disappointed about the result.”

Fabianski said the scoreline was harsh on West Ham (AFP/Getty Images)
Fabianski said the scoreline was harsh on West Ham (AFP/Getty Images)

West Ham keeper Lucasz Fabianski also believed the final score line was harsh on his side.

“I don’t want to make it sound as though I was watching a different game but they took their chances very well, they were very composed in front of our goal while we had some decent chances but couldn’t convert them,” said the Pole.

“Had we taken one or two of our chances, then maybe the game would have looked a bit different. Basically they punished us for every little mistake that we made. We shouldn’t be too down, though.”

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