West Ham will take a ‘hard stance’ over the future of wantaway forward Marko Arnautovic and will demand a fee of £40m for the unsettled star.
Arnautovic handed in a transfer request at the club this week amid interest from China, with West Ham reportedly turning down a bid of £19.7m for his services from an unnamed club.
It is the second time this year Arnautovic has agitated for a move away from the club in the last six months, having previously expressed a desire to leave for the Chinese Super League in January.
The 30-year-old signed a contract extension at the London Stadium after the collapse of a January move, and Manuel Pellegrini’s side will not be forced into the sale of the Austrian on the cheap.
West Ham are not believed to be opposed to selling Arnautovic this summer should his valuation be met, with Pellegrini keen to avoid another transfer-saga.
Having already seen forwards Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez depart, the Hammers will need to strengthen their attacking options further should Arnautovic be allowed to leave.
The club have seen a £29 million bid accepted for Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez, and Pellegrini is likely to want to see a replacement arrive before sanctioning the sale of another forward.