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Soccer: Pellegrini wants Arnautovic to stay at West Ham

Reuters 2019-01-10 21:11:14

(Reuters) - West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini is determined to keep Marko Arnautovic at the London club amid interest from the Chinese Super League in the Austrian forward.

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - West Ham United v Birmingham City - London Stadium, London, Britain - January 5, 2019 West Ham's Marko Arnautovic reacts as he is substituted off while West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

British media reported that a Chinese Super League club have tabled a 35 million pound ($44.7 million) offer for Arnautovic, who has scored eight goals in 17 matches for West Ham this season.

Speaking ahead of West Ham’s Premier League clash with Arsenal on Saturday, Pellegrini dismissed talk of Arnautovic leaving in the January transfer window.

“I will not talk about the price, I will not talk about rumours,” the manager told a news conference on Thursday.

“Marko and the other players involved in the rumours have their heads here, they want to continue the way they’re playing.

“I’m sure things like that are parallel to performance and he’ll have his head in the game against Arsenal. I want to keep him but you never know what will happen in the future.”

The weekend clash at the London Stadium will also be an opportunity for midfielder Samir Nasri to come up against his former club Arsenal in a return to the Premier League after two-and-a-half years.

The Frenchman joined the Hammers on a free transfer after completing an 18-month doping ban and made his debut in a 2-0 FA Cup win over Birmingham City.

“It was useful for him to play 60 minutes against Birmingham for the cup, he’s been working really hard, so he demonstrated he is able to play,” Pellegrini added.

“He’ll be involved in the game against Arsenal, at least on the squad list. After that we’ll see if he starts.”

($1 = 0.7833 pounds)