Manuel Pellegrini defends his decision to leave Arnautovic out
West Ham failed to build on their positives from the 1-0 win over Arsenal last week as the Hammers went down 2-0 to Bournemouth away from home on Saturday.
Marko Arnautovic was left out of the squad to face the Cherries and manager Manuel Pellegrini defended his omission of the star forward amid the speculations linking him with a mega-money move to the Chinese Super League.
The 29-year-old has been the subject of interest from an unknown Chinese club in recent weeks but reports claim that West Ham have rejected a £35 million bid, with Arnautovic’s brother and agent confirming that the Austrian wants to leave the club.
West Ham, though, are under no pressure to sell the 29-year-old, who has three and a half years remaining on his current contract.
And Pellegrini claimed that he had taken the decision to leave out Arnautovic for the overall interest of the team.
“As a manager, you must make decisions on the players that work better during the week,” he told reporters.
“Marko has another issue so I thought that it was not a good idea for him to play.
“We don’t need to talk about a player that was not in the squad. I never complain about players who are not here.
“We have nine players injured, let’s talk about the ones here that we brought to play this game.
“We didn’t win, Marko Arnautovic didn’t play so we must have other players to step up.”
West Ham missed the chance to close the gap on the top six, slipping down to 10th in the standings as a result of that defeat.