By George Overhill
Former West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has admitted his exit was not only down to money but also “a new life”.
The Austrian left East London after two seasons in 2019 to join Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG after apparently falling out with then-manager Manuel Pellegrini and suggestions he wanted more money.
In an interview with Gazzetta Dello Sport, as translated by SportWitness, Arnautovic confirmed that money was a factor but not the only thing that influenced his decision.
“Know one thing: when someone tells you that he doesn’t do things for money, that’s not true. It’s a lie. But when you are on the field for money, you never think about it,” said the 32-year-old.
“I received proposals from Russia, Turkey, MLS. I talked about it with my family and my brother, the agent. We all said no, together. Then China arrives and I decide to make a new life”.
Players as people
After seeming to agitate his way out from Stoke and then West Ham during his time in England it is to Arnautovic’s credit that he acknowledges that money was part of his considerations.
It is easy to forget, however, that players are individuals and have their own feelings.
A new experience in China, where a job for his wife and school for his children were reportedly also ready, is an opportunity that some people would not want to turn down, especially if it comes with a pay rise.
It is an argument that likely will not convince those that lost patience with him after his time in England but for his part he considers that period “beautiful”.
Arnautovic’s nomadic career is already into the next stop after a move back to Europe with Bologna this year which suggests that Arnautovic is simply not the type of man who settles in one place for long.
But players are individuals and, as with another painful West Ham exit in Dimitri Payet, they have a right to try to find a situation where they are comfortable.
In other West Ham United news, ExWHUemployee has shared what Jesse Lingard and his agent have told the Irons about January.
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