West Ham linked with replacing wantaway striker with Salomon Rondon

Nestor Watach

West Ham are reportedly looking at replacement options for Marko Arnautovic if he leaves the club, and West Brom striker Salomon Rondon has emerged as a target.

Arnautovic has recently dropped a bombshell at his current club by handing in a transfer request, according to Sky Sports News.

The Austrian striker eventually stayed at the club, signing a new £100,000-a-week contract midway through last season in the midst of being linked with big-money moves to China.

He’s an important player for the Hammers, having contributed 31 Premier League goals (21 goals, 10 assists), more than twice as many as any other player since he made his debut in August 2017.

The club are reportedly unhappy with comments made by his brother in the media, in which he said the club treated Arnautovic like “a commodity”. At this point they’d be willing to cut ties with the player for the right price, with China the most likely destination.

Football.London report that they’re actively looking at Rondon as a potential replacement. The physical Venezuelan forward impressed on loan at Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United last season, but is extremely unlikely to return to the North East after the manager departed the club last week.

Having failed to achieve promotion from the Championship last season, the Baggies technical director Luke Dowling confirmed that they’ll look to offload him the summer. “We’re quite happy to say that we will sell Salomon,” he admitted on Monday.

Last week, we reported that the Baggies had turned down a cash plus players offer for Rondon, and could yet hold out for more.

He has a £16.5m release clause in his current contract with West Brom, and is one of a number of options that could join Manuel Pellegrini’s side for a new-look attack next season. He’s already played under the Chilean coach, having been on the books at his Malaga side eight years ago.

Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez is another striker that they’re reportedly chasing in what’s set to be a busy summer for the Hammers. They’ve already signed exciting young Spanish talent Pablo Fornals and are expected to do more business.