WEST Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is confident wantaway striker Marko Arnautovic will not follow Dimitri Payet’s lead and go on strike.
Arnautovic wants to quit West Ham for a big-money move to China, with Shanghai SIPG believed to be offering to almost treble his wages.
Two seasons ago France midfielder Payet, another fans’ favourite at the London Stadium, refused to play until he got a move back to his former club Marseille.
Pellegrini says he does not blame Arnautovic for having his head turned but is convinced the Austrian forward will continue to do his best for the team, even if the move does not come off this month.
‘Marko is working with the team without any problem,’ said Pellegrini. ‘When you have such a high offer, everyone wants to leave but he has a contract here and we will know what will happen about it (soon).
‘Of course you can’t blame him, he knows what is the best option for him and now we will see what happens between the clubs. I don’t think that the player will refuse to play.’
Arnautovic appeared to wave goodbye to the fans when he was substituted during West Ham’s home win over Arsenal last weekend, but as things stand he will be in the squad at Bournemouth tomorrow.
Javier Hernandez will also be involved after overcoming back and hamstring problems, and Pellegrini brushed off speculation linking the Mexico striker with a move away.
‘These are all just rumours, about so many players that will come to West Ham or go from West Ham,’ Pellegrini added. ‘He will continue to be an important player for us.’
Jack Wilshere’s ankle injury means he will miss out against the club where he spent a season on loan.