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Relief for West Ham boss Pellegrini as Marko Arnautovic move is off the table

WEST HAM boss Manuel Pellegrini was glad to draw a line under the Marko Arnautovic saga after admitting it had affected his side’s performances.

Austria striker Arnautovic had his head turned by a big-money offer from China and was left out of the squad for the defeat at Bournemouth and Saturday’s FA Cup humiliation at AFC Wimbledon.

But less than half-an-hour after that 4-2 upset, the club revealed the 29-year-old attacker had extended his deal.

Pellegrini was not impressed by the drawn-out saga and refused to discuss Arnautovic’s new contract after the abject loss.

But ahead of tonight’s trip to Wolves, where Arnautovic (pictured top) is expected to start, Pellegrini said: ‘I have a lot of excuses why we lost at Wimbledon. One of those was that the January transfer window can cause damage to the team.

‘For all the issues that a player wants to go, they have other options. But I’m happy that Marko has finished his issue, he is happy here.

‘I hope we will have the player he can be in the coming games.

‘A lot of things affect players, that’s why I don’t want to continue talking about that because I don’t want to make excuses.

‘We made a mistake and lost against Wimbledon. I hope not only Marko but other players hearing some offers will concentrate on what we must do.’

■ 18 — Month loan deal for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata (pictured) at Atletico Madrid. He is heading back to Spain having signed from Real Madrid for £60million in 2017. Gonzalo Higuain has already arrived on loan from Juventus as Morata’s replacement