West Ham winger Michail Antonio has admitted star man Marko Arnautovic wants to leave the club in January amid interest from China.
The imposing Austrian has been at the centre of a major controversy after he told West Ham he wanted to leave English football and head to the Chinese Super League.
An unnamed Chinese club have approached the Hammers with a bid worth in excess of £36million and Arnautovic has received a contract offer in the region of £250,000 a week.
He also appeared to wave goodbye to the London Stadium when he came off in the 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday and Antonio, speaking on Goals on Sunday, has admitted it it just a matter of time before he departs but warned the club must find an adequate replacement.
Antonio said: ‘It’s been quite tight-lipped, but everyone knows Marko wants to go.
‘He’s massive for the club, I think he’s joint top-goalscorer right now, so he’s a big player for us.
‘We’ve got someone there with experience of playing who scores goals, right now who would we sign to replace him? That’s where the problem lies. Who could we sign? That’s where the problem lies.’
West Ham, for their part, insist Arnautovic will not be sold but are braced for another offer of £40m and the 29-year-old will continue to push for a move.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini hopes the future of Arnautovic will be resolved in the next few days.
‘We will see what happens in the next few days and I hope he will take the best decision,’ said Pellegrini after his side’s victory.
‘I have been in this position a lot of times in my 30 years but I am calm with nothing 100 per cent sure.’
The Austrian posted on Snapchat on Sunday morning that he was heading to Vienna with wife Sarah.