West Ham: Manager Manuel Pellegrini explains Marko Arnautovic absence

Marko Arnautovic
Marko Arnautovic last played for West Ham on 12 January and he appeared to wave to supporters when he was substituted in the second half

West Ham's Marko Arnautovic was left out of Saturday's defeat at Bournemouth because his head is on "another issue", says manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The 29-year-old Austria forward has been the subject of a £35m bid from a club in China, and his brother has said he wants to leave.

"A manager must choose the players that work better during the week," said Pellegrini.

"Marko has his head on another issue so it wasn't a good idea for him to play."

Second-half goals from Callum Wilson and Joshua King condemned the Hammers to a 2-0 defeat at the Vitality Stadium after Arnautovic's replacement, Andy Carroll, squandered a golden chance with the game goalless.

"I don't think we need to continue talking about players that are not in the squad in this moment," added Pellegrini.

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

Arnautovic, who has scored seven Premier League goals this season, started in West Ham's win over Arsenal on Saturday but waved to the home crowd when he was substituted with 20 minutes to go.

He moved to London Stadium from Stoke in 2017 for a then club record £20m after handing in a transfer request at the Potters. He is under contract with the Hammers until 2022.

Pellegrini has previously said that Arnautovic could leave if it was "a good deal for both parties".

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