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West Ham United will reportedly refuse to meet Marko Arnautovic’s wage demands amid speculation linking him with Manchester United.
According to The Sun‘s Andrew Dillon, Arnautovic wants a £70,000-per-week pay rise to take his yearly salary to £10.4 million.
The 29-year-old currently earns £130,000 per week at West Ham, where he is contracted until 2022.
The Hammers aren’t prepared to “shatter their pay structure and upset the dressing room” by giving him the increase, though.
Per Dillon, amid rumours he is wanted by United, his brother and agent Danijel Arnautovic said: “Marko is ready for the next step. A player like him should not play against relegation.”
“It’s clear I want to compete with the best players, but in this affair I totally trust my brother,” the player himself added.
The Austrian has enjoyed a fine start to the season, as WhoScored.com demonstrated on Twitter:
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Marko Arnautovic vs Edin Dzeko
Dzeko has scored more goals (3) than any other player in League B — Will he add to his fine UEFA Nations League return when Bosnia-Herzegovina face Austria tonight?
Full match preview — https://t.co/oFWnPQPMU4 https://t.co/pHXF5jadVx
He’s more mobile than United striker Romelu Lukaku, but he’s still a strong, tenacious and at times creative front man who can cause lots of problems for opposition defenders.
Squawka’s Muhammad Butt is far from convinced he would be a good buy for the Red Devils, though:
Squawka Football @Squawka
@muhammadbutt .@muhammadbutt on Marko Arnautovic: “Arnautovic simply isn’t good enough. There’s a reason he spent four seasons at Stoke. And there’s a reason that only West Ham were willing to sign him from Stoke.” https://t.co/wSJrQl9kjk
His inconsistent goalscoring record of 26 goals in 145 appearances for Stoke City does little to inspire, though it is worth noting he also provided 32 assists during his time with the Potters.
The Austria international has been slightly more prolific at West Ham, netting 16 goals in 45 appearances since his arrival last year, and he has become key to the Irons’ fortunes.
He’s still some way off showing he would be an important performer for a club of United’s stature and ambition, though.
As such, while the Red Devils have the resources to more easily afford his wage demands, it’s unlikely he would be able to justify them.