Shanghai SIPG’s £27million bid is only a good deal for Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic turned to all sides of the London Stadium and applauded. He thinks this is farewell, you see. He thinks it is only about him. What he wants. What he decides to do.

Leaving aside that he had been comfortably West Ham’s poorest performer in their first home win over Arsenal since 2006, and that he was being replaced with close to 20 minutes to go by Andy Carroll, a striker who has scored three Premier League goals since April 1, 2017, the arrogance was monumental. 

At the end, instead of celebrating with his team-mates on the pitch, he moped down the tunnel, a study in petulance. 

Arnautovic has never been as good as he thinks, and he isn’t valued as he imagines, either. The bid, from Shanghai SIPG, is nowhere near the £35m reported. It is €31m, which works out at £27.6m. It is the salary that is bewitching: in the region of £300,000 a week, West Ham have been told.

So, let’s put that into perspective. Say Real Madrid came in for Harry Kane and offered him £300,000 a week to sign. Maybe that would be appealing. And then they went to Daniel Levy with their offer to Tottenham: £27.6m. 

That would be a very short conversation, and understandably so; upwards of £14m a year is not the wage of a £27.6m footballer. Not even the wage of one costing £35m.

Arnautovic seems to believe that because it is a good deal for him, it is a good deal for everybody. It isn’t. He believes that because he wants to go, he is owed. He is not.

Still, at least one of his instincts is being borne out.  Arnautovic has always thought he was a footballer capable of performing for an elite club and, on Saturday — alone among the West Ham side — he looked as if he could play for Arsenal. And if he thinks that is a compliment, it’s not.


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