According to The Times, West Ham striker Marko Arnautović will be allowed to leave the club this summer for £45m.
This news comes despite the fact that the Austrian has recently signed a contract extension at West Ham.
The future of the striker has been one of the most hotly debated topics of the transfer window so far, with it seeming almost a certainty that he would be on his way out of the London Stadium. Therefore, to keep hold of him until the end of the season has to be seen as some wonderful business from David Gold and David Sullivan.
Had The Hammers lost Arnautović this month, manager Manuel Pellegrini would have struggled to replace him on such short notice. This would have damaged what has been a promising season so far for the club. The Austrian has been West Ham’s best player over the last season and a half, and the club would want the entirety of the summer transfer window to recruit his successor.
However, what West Ham have also done is raise the value of the striker by giving him a contract extension. Arnautović was initially valued at £35m by Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai SIPG. Therefore, to get an additional £10m out of his departure, and another half a season out of him has to be seen as a business masterstroke at the London Stadium. West Ham look to have well and truly come out on top after this latest transfer saga and Gold and Sullivan must be praised.
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