Football: Arnautovic to stay at West Ham despite China talk

West Ham's Marko Arnautovic (centre).
West Ham's Marko Arnautovic (centre).PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Marko Arnautovic has ended the speculation concerning his immediate future by indicating he will stay with West Ham.

The Austrian forward, who had been linked with a lucrative move to China, took to Instagram on Friday (Jan 25) to say he wanted to help London club West Ham win the FA Cup this season.

Arnautovic, 29, admitted he had been tempted by a reported £35 million (S$47 million) bid from a Chinese club, believed to be Shanghai SIPG, but that he now wanted to "put a stop" to the speculation and stay with the Premier League side.

"Dear West Ham fans, I guess it's no secret that there has been an offer for me and I have admit that the offer was a very tempting one for me and my family," wrote Arnautovic.

"I've given 100 per cent to my club duties but I have also needed some time to talk to my club, my wife and the rest of my family.

"I have now decided to put a stop to all the writings and speculation. I'm a professional footballer and the only thing I know in life is to play football.

"It's clear that London and West Ham United feels like home for me and I hope the West Ham fans have always seen that."

He added: "The club has pointed my career in the right direction since I joined and therefore I want to put the offers aside, help the club to climb as high as possible in the table and try to win the Cup.

"Let's focus on the rest of this season together and let them bubbles fly COYI (Come On You Irons)."

The Hammers, currently 10th in the table, face third-tier AFC Wimbledon in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Arnautovic is West Ham's joint-top scorer so far this season but, amid all the uncertainty over his future, manager Manuel Pellegrini left him out of a 2-0 league loss to Bournemouth last weekend.