West Ham ready to hijack Serie A transfer for ‘dream’ former Prem star

Marko Arnautovic Shanghai Port August 2019

West Ham are ‘dreaming’ of a transfer to bring striker Marko Arnautovic back to east London this summer, according to a report.

The Austria international initially made his name in England after signing for Stoke in 2013. He spent four years with the Potters, but decided to move down south in 2017. From there, he played two seasons with the Hammers, netting 22 goals in 65 games across all competitions.

However, he decided to seek pastures new again in 2019, moving to the Chinese Super League with Shanghai Port.

He has continued his strong goalscoring record – albeit not in a major league – with 20 strikes in 36 matches.

Nevertheless, Italian source Il Resto del Carlino claims that he wants another move due to the Chinese Super League introducing a salary cap.

From next season, foreign players will be able to earn a maximum of £2.7million per year in a bid to aid the national team. As such, Arnautovic supposedly believes that he can get a better offer back in Europe.

As for where he could go, Bologna have set the wheels in motion for a deal for the 32-year-old.

The Serie A side are willing to offer between €2.5million (£2.1million) and €3million (£2.6million) per season.

What’s more, club chiefs have held talks with Arnaoutovic‘s representatives. Bologna’s approach came after head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic told chairman Joey Saputo that he needs a new striker.

However, West Ham are reportedly planning to hijack the deal.

West Ham ready to land Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic Shanghai Port October 2020

The Hammers are ready to stump Bologna’s prospective terms by offering their former player £3.4million per season to return to the London Stadium.

In fact, David Moyes‘ side are ‘dreaming’ of the transfer, Il Resto del Carlino adds.

Crystal Palace are also in the hunt, but it remains unclear what salary they would be willing to offer.

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Arnautovic has a decision to make, not only over which club he chooses. Should he move to Bologna, he would benefit from Italy’s tax advantages.

The 87-cap Austria international’s 2017/18 campaign was his best in a West Ham shirt – he appeared in 31 Premier League games, tallying 11 goals and six assists.

The Hammers are after a new striker after letting club-record acquisition Sebastian Haller leave for Ajax in January.

READ MORE: Pundit claims West Ham laughing if they can land ‘top, top player’ for £10m