West Ham have confirmed the sale of Marko Arnautovic to Shanghai SIPG with a blunt farewell message containing just 45 words.
The Hammers decided to cash in on Arnautovic for the sake of team morale and quickly agreed a cut-price £23million fee with the Chinese Super League side. Frustrated London Stadium boss Manuel Pellegrini had run out of patience with Arnautovic after he asked to leave for a second time in just six months.
And the ill feeling between the club and their one-time talisman was summed up by the brief statement West Ham released confirming his departure which was just two sentences and 45 words long. West Ham said: ‘West Ham United can confirm that Marko Arnautovic has joined Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed fee. ‘The 30-year-old Austrian departs after two seasons at London Stadium, during which he scored 22 goals in 65 appearances in Claret and Blue.’
Arnautovic first wanted out following interest from China in January but was persuaded to stay and sign a new £120,000-per-week contract. But he asked to leave again last week and this time Pellegrini chose not to stand in his way due to fears about the negative influence Arnautovic could become if he was forced to stay again. Pellegrini’s decision was backed by the club’s board and his players. West Ham will continue talks with Celta Vigo on Monday as they look to land Maxi Gomez to replace Arnautovic.