A report has claimed that West Ham United may have to offer striker Marko Arnautovic a huge new contract to convince him to stay at the club.
Arnautovic has previously confessed that it may be time for him to leave the club in the near future, with his agent also adding that a move could come as early as January. He was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United during the summer, but instead remained at the club and is currently The Hammers' top scorer, netting five goals in 11 appearances.
He is currently under contract for the next four-and-a-half years and is said to be receiving £130,000 per week, and those inside the club believe the 29-year-old is looking for one final huge contract before his career comes to an end.
However, West Ham are likely to refuse Arnautovic's demands as it goes against the club's current wage structure, whilst they are also aware that offering Arnautovic such a huge salary could risk upsetting the rest of the dressing room.
Arnautovic's agent admitted: “He’s a big part of West Ham’s team but I think it’s possible to tease out more of him. For that to happen, he has to play for a top team. Marko is ready for the next step. A player like him should not play against relegation. He should play for the international spots.
“Marko is really enjoying playing for West Ham. He loves that club and the fans. But there is still that feeling, that this cannot be the end. And everybody should understand that.”
West Ham narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League last season, and they also endured a similarly tumultuous start to the new season. They suffered four consecutive defeats, before results began to improve, leaving them currently 13th in the league table.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho went to watch Arnautovic play for Austria during the summer, but a move failed to materialise. Everton have also been linked with the forward, and it remains to be seen whether these clubs will reignite their interest in Arnautovic in the future.