Marko Arnautovic asked West Ham United to accept a €22m (£19.7m) bid for him from an unnamed Chinese club, sources have confirmed to Football FanCast.
The bid was tabled on Tuesday but the Hammers have rejected it out of hand.
Sources have told FFC that the club will only sell the former Stoke City forward if that figure is met.
Indeed, there was an expectation at the turn of the year that a new bid could be tabled for Arnautovic in this transfer window and the Hammers took steps to ensure they would be properly protected in terms of negotiations over any fee.
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As the season drew to a close, however, the striker went 11 games without scoring a goal for the club – he scored three in the final two matches of the campaign – and there was a belief that he would remain at the London Stadium for the 2019/20 season.
Indeed, manager Manuel Pellegrini even made plans to sign Maxi Gomez from Celta Vigo and play him alongside the former Stoke City star.
Now, though, sources have told FFC that Arnautovic is “playing up again” as he looks to secure a move away from east London.
It remains to be seen if another offer will be tabled, or if the player will formally request a transfer.
The news comes at an inopportune time for the Hammers. They returned to pre-season training on Monday but they have just two senior strikers at this stage: Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez.
Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez have both left, while Hernandez is deemed expendable, per FFC sources. There is a very real chance that all four of the strikers they could call upon last season will have left by the beginning of the 2019/20 campaign.
The Hammers remain in talks with Gomez’s camp over a possible transfer but there is a fear that the Uruguay international would prefer to stay in Spain.
FFC has previously confirmed that West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon has also been the subject of a bid from the Hammers, worth £10m plus Jordan Hugill and Sam Byram, and the club remain open to submitting another offer should Pellegrini give the green light.
Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been watched, too, sources confirm, while FFC also understands Porto’s Moussa Marega has been offered to the club. He would cost over £30m.