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29-year-old Man Utd target open to transfer

Manchester United target Marko Arnautovic has admitted he is ready to leave West Ham United in order to pursue his Champions League dream.

The 29-year-old is in his second season with the Hammers following his move from Stoke City in the summer of 2017.

Arnautovic was originally used as a left forward for both Stoke and West Ham before David Moyes moved the Austrian international into a central striker role last season, scoring 11 goals. His form has rolled over into this season by scoring five goals in 10 Premier League appearances under Manuel Pellegrini.

However, the forward has now hinted that he would like a transfer away from the London stadium to play with the ‘best players’. He has been quoted by Austrian newspaper Kurier as saying:

“I’m 29, so that’s the best age. It’s clear that I want to compete with the best players.”

We were linked with a move for Marko Arnautovic over the summer but West Ham were unwilling to sell their star player at the time. They had only paid a then club record £25 million for his services 12 months earlier.

A further quote in Kurier, this time from his brother and agent, Danijel, hints that Mark Arnautovic should be playing for a side competing for the Premier League title or at least Champions League football:

“He’s already playing in the Premier League and that’s where the best players are. But for a player like Marko this cannot be the end.

“He’s a big part of West Ham’s team but I think it’s possible to tease out more of him. For that to happen, he has to play for a top team. Marko is ready for the next step. A player like him should not play against relegation. He should play for the international spots.

“Marko is really enjoying playing for West Ham. He loves that club and the fans. But there is still that feeling, that this cannot be the end. And everybody should understand that.”

Asked whether the West Ham could leave soon, Danijel added:

“That’s possible. It was already very, very close this last summer.”

Where Marko Arnautovic would fit into the Manchester United team is unclear. I could not see him being a regular in the first team with Anthony Martial out on the left and Romelu Lukaku or Marcus Rashford starting up front – the two positions that the Austrian is capable of playing. Given that we would need to pay an excessive fee to acquire his services, I think a transfer anytime soon is unlikely.

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