Pellegrini remains coy on Arnautovic’s long-term West Ham future

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Marko Arnautovic of West Ham United argues with Manuel Pellegrini, Manager of West Ham United after being substitute during the FA Cup Third Round match between West Ham United and Birmingham City at The London Stadium on January 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini wouldn’t confirm whether or not Marko Arnautovic will remain with them beyond this season.

Despite reported strong interest from Chinese Super League champions Shanghai SIPG, Arnautovic performed a U-turn and signed a new contract at West Ham just weeks after his desire to leave was announced.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Hammers’ trip to Wolves on Tuesday, Pellegrini was keen to put an end to the rumours surrounding Arnautovic’s future.

“I am happy for us that Marko has finished his issue and he will stay here and I hope he will be the player we know he can be in the next game,” said Pellegrini, according to FourFourTwo.

“I expect from every player, not only Marko, to see their performance as high as you know that player can give you.

“That is the most important thing for me. Players must play to eight out of 10 in every game.

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“Everyone knows what Marko can do. He made an important difference in the second half of last season and I hope he can do so again this season.”

But the Chilean could not confirm whether or not his star forward will be at the London Stadium come to the end of this season and remained silent on West Ham’s reported interest in Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez.

“We can talk about that at the end of the season,” he said.

“There have been 35 or 36 players that have come here and I will say the same thing, nothing on rumours.

“About new players? No. We are talking about injured players and we have them coming back and they will help us in some positions.

“We have Ryan Fredericks back and Manuel Lanzini can be available in three weeks or one month more and he is a very important player.”