West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that Marko Arnautovic was not mentally prepared for the weekend’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth. The Austria international has recently been the subject of interest from the Chinese Super League and this has recently increased the speculation regarding his future with the Hammers.
Pellegrini’s men had come up with a solid performance over cross-town rivals Arsenal in the 1-0 win during the previous weekend but they could not replicate the feat against Bournemouth on the road where second half goals from Callum Wilson and Joshua King ensured a return to winning ways for the South Coast club.
Speaking after the game, Pellegrini was questioned regarding the absence of Arnautovic to which he suggested that the forward was not prepared for the game amid the recent interest from the Far East, he said:
“A manager must choose the players that work better during the week. Marko has his head on another issue so it wasn’t a good idea for him to play.”
Arnautovic has been one of the Hammers’ leading performers this term with seven goals already in the top-flight but his head has certainly been turned with the prospect of securing a big-money move to the Chinese Super League. Nonetheless, the club remain reluctant to sanction his sale for the moment but their stance could change during the forthcoming days, should they find a suitable replacement.
Meanwhile, the Hammers were pretty much wasteful with their opportunities at the Vitality Stadium and the game could have paved differently, had Andy Carroll converted the golden chance presented to him before the Cherries found the breakthrough. Despite the defeat, West Ham remain at the top end of the table with 31 points, though they have dropped to the tenth position.