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West Ham confirm Arnautovic departure… too little, too late

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

West Ham United have confirmed that Marko Arnautovic has completed his transfer to Shanghai SIPG.

What’s the word?

Arnautovic requested last week that a bid for him from the Chinese club be accepted, per Football FanCast sources.

That offer totalled around £19.7m and was rejected, with the club viewing it as derisory.

However, a new bid was tabled of £22.5m over the last few days and, after the go-ahead from manager Manuel Pellegrini, per sources, the Hammers have done business.

One figure within the club confirmed to FFC that the club were aware of how poor the finances of the deal were but that, due to the Austria international’s behaviour, they wanted him gone.

The Irons confirmed the news in a particularly frosty statement, saying: “West Ham United can confirm that Marko Arnautovic has joined Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed fee.

“The 30-year-old Austrian departs after two seasons at London Stadium, during which he scored 22 goals in 65 appearances in Claret and Blue.”

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A delayed decision

West Ham have made completely the right decision here but it may well have come six months too late.

Indeed, FFC reported in January that the club had rejected a £30m bid for the striker and they have now been forced to take a major hit on that valuation.

Nevertheless, the move is the right one; it is the second time Arnautovic has asked to leave the club and a club simply cannot keep a player who appears to actively poison the first-team as he does.

Shifting him out of the club, for a fee that can be reinvested, was always going to be the right move.

If only the Hammers had come to their senses in January.

Article title: West Ham confirm Arnautovic departure… too little, too late

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