Saturday 23 February 2019

Pellegrini's Arnautovic moan

Bournemouth 2 West Ham 0

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini. Photo: Getty Images
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini. Photo: Getty Images

Andy Sims

Manuel Pellegrini claimed Marko Arnautovic "has his head on another issue" after the player was left out of West Ham's squad at Bournemouth.

Austria international Arnautovic, the club's joint leading scorer with eight goals, is keen on a big-money move to China, with Shanghai SIPG having already had a £35m offer rejected.

West Ham's Michail Antonio takes on Bournemouth's Adam Smith. Photo: Getty Images
West Ham's Michail Antonio takes on Bournemouth's Adam Smith. Photo: Getty Images

Hammers boss Pellegrini said on Thursday that the 29-year-old would be allowed to depart, subject to a "good deal for both parties" being agreed.

Second-half goals from Callum Wilson and Joshua King condemned the Hammers to defeat at the Vitality Stadium after Arnautovic's replacement, Andy Carroll, squandered a golden chance with the game goalless.

"The reason is because as a manager you must choose the players that work better during the week," said Pellegrini, explaining his team selection.

"Marko has his head on another issue so I thought it was not a good idea for him to play today. I don't think we need to continue talking about players that are not in the squad in this moment. I never complain about players who are not here.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe celebrates their victory. Photo: Getty Images
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe celebrates their victory. Photo: Getty Images

"We couldn't win and, if Marko Arnautovic didn't play, we have another player that must do it."

Spanish striker Lucas Perez was also left out the Hammers' 18-man squad.

Meanwhile, Cherries boss Eddie Howe, speaking about rumours of goalscorer Wilson leaving, possibly to replace Arnautovic at West Ham, said: "He's just got to concentrate on his football and he's very much a team player."

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