In Focus: West Ham given major Arnautovic boost

According to Sky Sports News, Marko Arnautovic, who has been strongly linked with West Ham United this summer, has handed in a transfer request at Stoke City.

What’s the story?

Arnautovic, 28, signed a lucrative four-year contract with Stoke last summer after the Potters held off a host of interest in the Austria international.

However, according to Sky Sports News, the attacker has grown frustrated with what he deems to be a lack of ambition at Stoke, and is now set on leaving in this transfer window.

The report claims that the transfer request was submitted on Monday afternoon, and the £15m-rated attacker will now seek a move away from Stoke, who are currently in Austria preparing for the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with the attacker in recent months, but it is understood that West Ham hold the strongest interest, and the Hammers are now confident of signing the Austrian in this summer’s transfer window.

Would Arnautovic improve West Ham?

It would be fair to say that Arnautovic has had his fair share of off-the-field problems, but there is little doubting his ability on the football pitch.

After joining Stoke from Werder Bremen in 2013, the attacker managed seven goals in his first two seasons with the Potters as he settled into English football.

The 2015-16 season saw Arnautovic net 12 goals in 40 appearances – 11 of which were in the Premier League – whilst he registered seven goals in all competitions last season.

West Ham are desperately trying to sign a new centre-forward ahead of the 2017-18 campaign, but the Hammers are lacking generally in the final third of the field, and the arrival of Arnautovic would be a big boost for the London club.

There is no doubting that Arnautovic has the personality to become a favourite at the London Stadium, and with the attacker handing in a transfer request, West Ham are in a strong bargaining position as they look to bring the talented Austrian to London.