Arnautovic left out for West Ham’s clash against Bournemouth on Saturday
If reports are to be believed, Arnautovic told West Ham that he was not in the right frame of mind to compete at his best and feared that he would let his teammates down if selected against Bournemouth.
The 29-year-old started in the 1-0 victory over Arsenal last week and appeared to wave a final goodbye to the fans at the London Stadium, with an unnamed Chinese club making a £35 million bid for the Austrian.
West Ham have rejected the bid and the club hierarchy are desperate to keep hold of their star man but reports claim that West Ham might be prepared part ways with their talisman if they manage to sign a replacement.
Unlike Dimitri Payet, who went on strike to force a transfer, Arnautovic has shown good professionalism on the training ground amidst all the speculation surrounding his future. However, his brother and agent, Danijel, has confirmed that he is keen on a move to China.
Asked about the speculation surrounding Arnautovic, Pellegrini said on Thursday: ‘Marko is one of the most important players we have, but the squad knows these things can happen.
‘We are just focused on trying to beat Bournemouth. We played without Marko four or five games in December and we won those games. ‘He will continue being an important player, but we must continue thinking about our next rival.’