Marko Arnautovic secured his long-desired move to China.
Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic has left West Ham fans a parting message, after his move to Shanghai SIPG was confirmed on Monday.
The bulldozing forward has been on the outs with Hammers fans since trying to force a move to China in the January transfer window – and performed inconsistently in the months afterwards, never regaining the trust of the fans despite signing a new long-term contract.
Arnautovic posted the farewell on his Instagram account after the move was confirmed, writing: "Thank you to everyone at West Ham. Especially goodbye and thanks to the fans who were always good to me."
This message puts a positive spin on what has been a drawn out and stressful situation for West Ham and the club's fans, with his record of 22 goals and 12 assists in 65 games leaving him as one of the better of the club's strikers in recent years.
Though the striker's departure didn't come as a shock to many, Arnautovic was West Ham's top goalscorer last season with a decent 11 goals and four assists in all competitions. After his infamous no-show against Bournemouth though, he went ten straight league games without scoring once – only getting on the scoresheet in the final two games of the season against Southampton and Watford.
Arnautovic's transfer to Shanghai SIPG is understood to be worth around £22.4m, the Hammers managing to recoup the majority of the £25m they shelled out for the Austrian two years ago. Of the strikers the club have signed since Davids Gold and Sullivan took over the club in 2010, only Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll have scored more goals in east London.