West Ham, Everton-linked Arnautovic back in business with ‘agreement reached’

Date published: Monday 28th June 2021 4:17 - Steve Pearson

Marko Arnautovic Austria

West Ham and Everton-linked Marko Arnautovic is on the verge of returning to the big time of European football after reaching an agreement to leave China, per a source.

The hot-headed veteran, 32, has spent the last two years plying his trade in China with Shanghai SIPG. Arnautovic operated at a goal every other game in the Chinese Super League, but his maverick displays at Euro 2020 reminded fans he can still perform at a higher level.

A potential summer return to Europe had been gathering momentum throughout 2021.

With West Ham about to embark on a European adventure and current centre-forward Michail Antonio persistently struggling with hamstring injuries, a return to his former club had been mooted.

Everton were also said to be in the mix. The Toffees were one club Arnautovic’s agent spoke with about returning to England in January.

At 32, he may not be capable of having the impact he once had with the Hammers and Stoke. Nevertheless, as a free agent, it would be difficult to argue he wouldn’t represent superb value as a depth piece.

Serie A side Bologna were also credited with interest. And unfortunately from an English perspective, the Italian outfit now appear destined to be the forward’s next club.

Trusted football journalist Fabrizio Romano tweeted that Arnautovic is ‘set to sign with Bologna.’

An ‘agreement has been reached’ that will see him sever ties with Shanghai SIPG and leave as a free agent.

Arnautovic briefly played in Italy over a decade ago while on loan with Inter Milan. He will be hoping to make a bigger impact this time around having only featured three times with the Nerazzurri.

West Ham facing significant loss on transfer reversal

Meanwhile, West Ham could return Felipe Anderson to sender three years after signing him from Lazio, according to reports.

Despite making a decent first impression with 10 goals from 40 games in his debut West Ham season, Anderson has since struggled. He only managed one goal from 28 appearances the following year, after which he left on loan.

Anderson was a Porto player for the 2020-21 campaign, but the move did not give him a new lease of life. He failed to score from just 10 appearances, prompting a return to the London Stadium this summer.

West Ham must now find a solution for the 28-year-old. Only one year remains on his contract and he is unlikely to force his way back into David Moyes’ plans.

But the club might have found a familiar buyer for Anderson: the exact same club they brought him in from. However, the proposed deal cited by Sky Italia would see the Hammers sell the Brazilian at a significant loss on their initial investment.

READ MORE: Lingard future at crunch point as Solskjaer sets Man Utd stall out with contract offer

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