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West Ham fail in second bid for Stoke playmaker

David Sullivan continues to play hardball as second bid gets knocked back

Stoke City v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images

West Ham United have reportedly failed again in their attempts to sign Stoke City playmaker Marko Arnautovic this afternoon, after a second bid believed to be in the region of £17 million + add-ons has been rejected.

Stoke City have made it crystal clear to West Ham that they value Arnautovic at £20 million (up front), and although they’re reluctant to let him go, (after having himself handed in a written transfer request before Stoke’s pre-season tour in Switzerland this week) it might be advised to let the player leave.

Arnautovic came off during the first half of Stoke’s pre-season game with what appeared to be a significant knee injury, however some are led to believe this could be the player trying to push through a deal as soon as possible.

Stoke City v Middlesbrough - Premier League
West Ham are keen to make the 28-year-old one of their main summer signings
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Mark Hughes spoke about the players current situation after Stoke’s 1-0 win over Neuchâtel Xama yesterday, suggesting his career would benefit by staying with The Potters;

"My stance is clear and he understands where I'm coming from. My thinking is that we don't want to lose him, we don't have to lose him. Ultimately it will be a club decision if we do feel if it's right for us.

"Players can realise that maybe their view or the people around them view on what's best for them is sometimes incorrect.

"My view is that Arnie would be best served staying with Stoke and understanding what he's got here and what we offer him here to allow him to be successful. Maybe, he won't quite replicate that elsewhere."

It was widely expected West Ham would return for a second bid, after failing with their first entry bid of £15 million, however once again David Sullivan looks set to play hardball over another insignificant transfer fee to sign the 28-year-old.