Despite the Hammers enduring a season of poor form, stand-out performer, and fan-favourite, Marko Arnautovic enjoyed a fruitful campaign that saw him grab 11 goals and six assists for the 13th- placed East London side. Hosts Russia continued their preparations for the FIFA World Cup with a friendly against Austria and in the stands was a familiar face.
The Daily Mail Online reported Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was in attendance in Innsbruck as he cast a watchful eye on the 29-year-old international – who the Portuguese manager has reportedly lined up as a possible replacement for Anthony Martial, should the Frenchman depart Old Trafford.
Martial has been linked with a number of clubs in recent weeks, with London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea rumoured to be monitoring the 22-year-olds situation at United.
Arnautovic played a key role in Austria’s 1-0 win over Stanislav Cherchesov’s men and it’s reported that the Red Devils could pay over £40 million for the in-demand man, who previously played for Stoke City before joining the Hammers last summer. This is not the first time Arnautovic has been subject to Mourinho’s attention though as he was made aware of him during his time at Inter Milan.
Personally, I see this as a bit of a surprise transfer target for the Reds who have also been linked big money moves for the likes of Champions League winner, Gareth Bale and Juventus striker, Mario Mandzukic. If Arnautovic does head north to Manchester he could well provide that extra firepower in attack while providing much-needed cover for lone Belgian frontman Romelu Lukaku.
Although West Ham claim Arnautovic is not for sale and no official enquiry has been made, I can see the pulling power of Manchester United being a mitigating factor in the Austrian heading through the exit door.
Do you think this would be a good deal for the Red Devils? Let us know my commenting below or tweeting us @AllOutFootball_ with the hashtag #AOF.