English Premiership

Arnautovic distracted by China talk, says Pellegrini

2019-01-20 14:36
Marko Arnautovic (Supplied)

London - West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted he left Marko Arnautovic out of the squad for Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth because the Austrian is distracted by talk of a potential lucrative move to China.

Arnautovic is looking to force through a transfer to the Chinese Super League after Shanghai SIPG had a reported £35 million bid rejected by the Premier League club.

And Pellegrini decided he wasn't in the right frame of mind to feature at Dean Court.

"Marko has his head on another issue so I thought it was not a good idea for him to play today," Pellegrini said.

"I don't think we need to continue talking about players that are not in the squad in this moment. I never complain about players who are not here.

"We couldn't win and, if Marko Arnautovic didn't play, we have another player that must do it."

Shanghai are said to be willing to improve their offer and Pellegrini conceded on Thursday that the 29-year-old would be allowed to depart, subject to a "good deal for both parties" being agreed.

Arnautovic, the club's joint leading scorer with eight goals, played in last weekend's 1-0 win over Arsenal following the first reports of the China offer.

 

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Fixtures
Thursday, 05 December 2019
Sheffield United v Newcastle United, Bramall Lane 21:30
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion, Emirates Stadium 22:15
Saturday, 07 December 2019
Everton v Chelsea, Goodison Park 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 17:00
Watford v Crystal Palace, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 08 December 2019
Norwich City v Sheffield United, Carrow Road 16:00
Newcastle United v Southampton, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Leicester City, Villa Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers, The American Express Community Stadium 18:30
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