Manuel Pellegrini coy on Marko Arnautovic's long-term future at West Ham
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 28/01/19 1:24pm
Manuel Pellegrini refused to confirm whether Marko Arnautovic will remain at West Ham beyond the end of the season.
The Austria international signed a contract extension with the Hammers on Saturday, which will see him remain at the club until 2023, following weeks of speculation over his future.
Arnautovic revealed, via his agent and brother Danijel, that he wanted to leave West Ham earlier this month amid interest from Chinese clubs Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou.
Despite the new deal, Pellegrini was non-committal on whether the 29-year-old would still be at West Ham next season.
"We can talk about that at the end of the season. Our minds must be focused on the game against Wolves," the West Ham manager said.
Arnautovic was not involved in the 4-2 FA Cup fourth-round defeat to Sky Bet League One side Wimbledon on Saturday, but is in line to make his first start since January 12 against Wolves at Molineux on Tuesday.
Pellegrini added: "You can have a lot of excuses as to why we lost against Wimbledon. One of those excuses is that the transfer window can cause a lot of damage in some clubs.
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"For all the issues, some players want to go and hear about other options that can sometimes be better. I am happy for us that Marko has finished his issue and I hope we will have the player that he can be again.
"Every player is the same, Marko has already demonstrated what he can do. He showed that towards the end of last season and I hope he can make an important difference from now until the end of the season."
Sky sources understands West Ham are closing in on a deal to sign Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez.
West Ham are prepared to meet Gomez's £43.2m release clause, which would break the club's existing transfer record.
Negotiations are ongoing over a deal which could see him loaned back until the end of the season given that Celta are fighting against relegation in La Liga.
When asked about the deal, Pellegrini said: "There have been 35 or 36 players that have come here and I will say the same thing, nothing on rumours."
West Ham will move up to seventh in the Premier League with a victory over Wolves, but will be without striker Lucas Perez who is unavailable after picking up a knock in the defeat to Wimbledon.