West Ham United have reportedly had a £15 million bid for Stoke winger Marko Arnautovic rejected this afternoon according to Tele Football. The proposed deal has since led the 28-year-old Austrian to hand in a transfer request at his current club Stoke City, as West Ham prepare a second bid.
It's no secret that Slaven Bilic has been a great admirer of Arnautovic during his time with Stoke in the Premier League, and with Sofiane Feghouli's imminent departure set for Galatasaray this week and Robert Snodgrass' future with the club yet to be determined, Bilic will be keen to re-tool his front-line before heading into the season opener on August 13th against a new-look Manchester United.
Arnautovic has developed into a great wide-player during his time in English football, adapting to playing both out wide, as a centre-forward and sometimes in behind the striker.
Marko has scored 26 times in 145 appearances for The Potters.
Arnautovic apparently held crunch talks with Stoke manager Mark Hughes this past week before jetting off to Stoke's pre-season tour in Switzerland, as today he finally put his transfer request into writing.
Although his attitude has been poor at times during the past few years in the Premier League, with somewhat selfish tendencies, West Ham would be getting a fast, agile, hard working and physical winger who would justify a £20 million fee and would be seen by some as the step-up replacement needed to fill Dimtri Payet's shoes. (Apologies Robert Snodgrass)
I'm sure more light will come of this transfer in the coming days, with West Ham sure to come back in with a second bid. I hope this time we don't play the waiting game and wrap the deal up quickly, not only to appease the fans but to allow the player time to formulate relationships with the manager and the squad.
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