English Premiership

Arnautovic distracted by China talk, says Pellegrini

Marko Arnautovic (Supplied)
Marko Arnautovic (Supplied)

London - West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted he left Marko Arnautovic out of the squad for Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth because the Austrian is distracted by talk of a potential lucrative move to China.

Arnautovic is looking to force through a transfer to the Chinese Super League after Shanghai SIPG had a reported £35 million bid rejected by the Premier League club.

And Pellegrini decided he wasn't in the right frame of mind to feature at Dean Court.

"Marko has his head on another issue so I thought it was not a good idea for him to play today," Pellegrini said.

"I don't think we need to continue talking about players that are not in the squad in this moment. I never complain about players who are not here.

"We couldn't win and, if Marko Arnautovic didn't play, we have another player that must do it."

Shanghai are said to be willing to improve their offer and Pellegrini conceded on Thursday that the 29-year-old would be allowed to depart, subject to a "good deal for both parties" being agreed.

Arnautovic, the club's joint leading scorer with eight goals, played in last weekend's 1-0 win over Arsenal following the first reports of the China offer.

Fixtures
Thu 09 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Everton
Southampton
Goodison Park
Thu 09 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
AFC Bournemouth
Tottenham Hotspur
Vitality Stadium
Thu 09 Jul 20 21:15 PM (SAST)
Aston Villa
Manchester United
Villa Park
Results
Wed 08 Jul 20
Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Liverpool 3
Wed 08 Jul 20
Manchester City 5
Newcastle United 0
Wed 08 Jul 20
Sheffield United 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Liverpool
34
30
92
2. Manchester City
34
22
69
3. Chelsea
34
18
60
4. Leicester City
34
17
59