Marko Arnautovic told to stay by ex-West Ham striker Frank McAvennie

Saturday, January 12th, 2019 12:15pm

By Rahman Osman @IAmRahmanOsman

Marko Arnautovic has been encouraged to ignore a £35million bid from China and focus on paying back the faith put in him by West Ham United.

The 29-year-old has attracted interest from Chelsea, Manchester United and Shanghai SIPG, who are reportedly ready to pay him £300,000 a week, doubling his current wage at the Olympic Stadium.

Arnautovic is reportedly considering slapping in a transfer request after his agent and brother Danijel issued a statement saying they wanted to leave the Hammers for China - but former West Ham star Frank McAvennie says it would be unwise to leave the club and the Premier League at this age.

“Well if you want a title then you can buy a title, I think the bottom line is that he was doing well and West Ham came and kept money on him and I am not taking anything away from him he is doing well, absolutely brilliant,” McAvennie told The Brian Moore Show (weekdays 3pm-7pm).

“The fans love him at the Olympic Stadium so I don’t know, he is still young he is what, 29?

"He is not going to end his career - when I was going to end my career I went to Hong Kong.

"I was over 30 and the standard was not good enough and it’s not going to be good enough in China."

The January transfer window is a notoriously difficult period in which to find quality at a reasonable price and given that Arnautovic has already scored seven times in 15 league games, McAvennie reckons the club will struggle to replace him if he does leave.

“Well I hear that Perez has been asked to get a club but it won’t be easy in this kind of market to replace a player like Marko," McAvennie added.

“I think he is just angling for a new deal but money speaks in football but this could really hit them a bit so I am hopeful he stays.”

McAvennie, who himself spent time playing in China before returning to Europe, reckons the standard Chinese league is so low that Arnautovic will not find himself challenged.

“I thought I was coming to the end of my career and reason I went there but the standard was not good," McAvennie said.

"After sometimes I came back to Celtic and I got 18 months there and the money even in China was not life changing like the guys get now but I wanted to play football and I wanted to play at a good level.”

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