According to the BBC, West Ham have agreed on a fee of around £24million with Stoke for Austrian winger Marko Arnautovic.
The Potters had reportedly rejected two previous offers from the Hammers. However, it seems now an agreement has been reached between the two clubs.
Arnautovic was linked with a big money move to Everton last summer. Instead, he decided to sign a new lucrative four-year deal with the Potters. It now seems the winger will now be plying his trade in pastures new in the 2017/18 season.
In his younger years, Arnautovic was a bright young talent. Expectations were high for the winger, especially during his time at Italian club Inter. However, at 28 he has never really produced on a regular basis.
The Austrian is the definition of mercurial. The sad thing is on his day he can be an outstanding player. He can often look like a player that can win games on his own. Then in other games, he can simply disappear.
Last season Arnautovic scored seven times in 35 games in all competitions, which has been about his standard return in the Premier League. It is not a great return for a player with such immense talent on his day.
However, questions have always been asked about his attitude. If he fancies performing, he will, if not then he can be non-existent on the pitch or even worse petulant.
Not sure who has got the better deal here
I have to say I am not sure who has the better deal here West Ham or Stoke. West Ham fans seem to be getting very excited by the wingers potential arrival in East London. The fee of £24m is not excessive in the current crazy market, either.
However, Stoke are set to make a profit of around £22m on the winger, who they signed for just £2m four years ago from Werder Bremen. That is a big profit on a player that blows hot and cold on the pitch.
I am not sure on the general feeling of the Stoke fans, but I have an inkling that selling Arnautovic will raise mixed emotions amongst the Potters fans. Some will remember him for the moments of brilliance, while others will remember him for his sheer lack of consistency.
Arnautovic is just such a hard player to classify because of his inconsistency. He must drive Stoke fans insane at times and enthral them at the same time.
West Ham doing some decent deals
West Ham endured an inconsistent campaign last season. However, the Hammers are odds of 6/4 to finish in the top-ten of the Premier League in the new campaign.
Slaven Bilic and the club hierarchy have done a decent job in the transfer market so far this summer. The signing of Pablo Zabaleta on a free and loan signing of Joe Hart looks like good work.
The Hammers are also reportedly close to sealing a £13million deal for former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, who could be a real stellar signing. Finally getting the striker they have needed for a long time will make the team far more effective.
West Ham have certainly enjoyed an interesting transfer window so far. I get the feeling that if Arnautovic does join the Hammers that he will continue in the same vein as he has done at Stoke and continue to be Mr Mercurial.
The signing is a slight gamble that could go either way, but he could turn out to be a very good player for the Hammers.
Will Marko Arnautovic be a good signing for West Ham?
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