Marko Arnautovic: West Ham striker to stay despite China offer

Arnautovic has eight goals in all competitions for West Ham this season
Arnautovic has eight goals in all competitions for West Ham this season

West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic says he will stay at the club despite an offer from China.

Arnautovic, 29, was the subject of a £35m bid from a Chinese club, thought to be Shanghai SIPG, with wages of around £200,000 a week on offer.

He was said to have wanted the move but the Austrian international now says he wants to "put a stop" to speculation.

"I want to put offers aside, help the club climb as high as possible in the table and try to win the cup," he said.

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Analysis

BBC Sport's Simon Stone

This latest announcement from Arnautovic does not affect West Ham's interest in Celta Vigo's Uruguayan striker Maxi Gomez.

However, that deal is probably going to involve the Hammers buying the 22-year-old and then leasing him back to the Spanish side.

Sources at West Ham had said that if Arnautovic stayed and remained fully focused for rest of the season, the club would be more sympathetic to allowing a summer move.

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In a lengthy Instagram post, Arnautovic added: "I guess it's no secret there has been an offer for me and I have to admit the offer was a very tempting one for me and my family.

"I have 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 now decided to put a stop to all the writings and speculation.

"It is clear that London and West Ham United feels like home for me and I hope the West Ham fans have always seen that.

"Let's focus on the rest of this season together and let those bubbles fly."

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini had made clear the club did not want to sell their joint-top scorer this season but conceded the player could leave if the deal was right for all parties.

Arnautovic, who is under contract until 2022, moved to London Stadium from Stoke in 2017 for a then club record £20m after handing in a transfer request at the Potters.

Speculation over his future at the club had increased when he waved to fans after being substituted late on in a win over Arsenal before being left out of the squad for Saturday's defeat at Bournemouth.

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