A return to West Ham may not be on the cards for Marko Arnautovic, as he is reportedly in talks with Bologna.
Arnautovic left West Ham for Shanghai SIPG in 2019 after scoring 22 goals in 65 games for the East London club.
The Hammers have since struggled to find a reliable option up front. They spent a club-record fee on Sebastien Haller, only for him to fail to live up to expectations.
Haller left the club to join Ajax earlier in the transfer window and David Moyes has been looking for a replacement ever since. A whole host of names have been linked so far.
One recent report suggested West Ham were working with a four-man shortlist in their search for a new striker. Among the quartet in consideration was Arnautovic.
Sky Sports suggested the club had been offered the chance to re-sign the Austria international, who is now 31. The only obstacle would be his wages.
Arnautovic earned a significantly higher salary in China than he did in West Ham. However, if they could find a way to convince him to drop his demands, he may have been an option.
It seems Arnautovic could accept a lower wage packet elsewhere, but it may not be back in London. According to Corriere Dello Sport, he is the number one target for Bologna.
A move to the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara would mark a return to Serie A for the forward, who previously spent a season at Inter Milan without playing much.
Now much more experienced, he would get plenty of opportunities at Bologna. Keen to join a new club, Arnautovic will listen to Bologna’s long-term proposal.
Even though he is under contract in Shanghai until 2022, Arnautovic could move as a free agent.
Whether West Ham could go back in to try and hijack the deal is unclear at present. It seems they are focusing on other targets instead.
West Ham launch new striker bid
For example, another player high on West Ham’s wishlist is Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri.
There were rumours that they had made a €30m offer for the 23-year-old, but Sevilla would want a higher fee to consider a sale.
Hence, West Ham reportedly have gone back in with a €40m bid for the striker – according to La Razon. That would match Sevilla’s asking price.
It would ensure Sevilla doubled their money on the former Leganes star, but it is not yet clear if they will accept the offer.
Wat’s more, an update from El Desmarque claims En-Nesyri has told Sevilla – with whom he won the Europa League last season – that he does not want to leave.