It is fair to say the news that Manchester United are interested in signing West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic this summer has received a negative reaction amongst supporters.
Sky Sports reported on Wednesday afternoon that United want the 29-year-old but West Ham would hold out for at least £50m if an approach was made.
Arnautovic only moved to the London Stadium from Stoke City for a club-record £24m last summer and scored 11 and assisted six while mainly playing as a striker under David Moyes throughout the 2017-18 season.
The general reaction to the news amongst Man United fans carried a sense of underwhelming confusion, with Chelsea’s Willian and Real Madrid Gareth Bale previously thought to be Jose Mourinho’s preference.
One United fan account on Twitter stated: “Arnautovic 29 Premier League journeyman or Mandzukic 32 and declining…sort of signings West Ham and Stoke make. Pep must be terrified.”
Another tweeted: “If this happens, it’s on a par with LVG’s pursuit of Ighalo from Watford for £40m. Hopefully just a smokescreen and nothing more.”
Meanwhile, West Ham fans are hoping the price tag puts United off a pursuit. A fan account tweeted: “Sorry but does anybody think United will bid £50m for a 29-year-old? Na.”
Rival fan accounts took the opportunity to make a joke of United’s uninspiring transfer activity, with a Manchester City account pointing out: “City signing Jorginho for less than United would have to pay for Fred. Paying less for the superior footballer… City signing Mahrez for the same price United would have to pay for Arnautovic. Marko Arnautovic of West Ham… Little old City doing bits yet again.”
It’s clear that Mourinho wants an attacking player during the close season, and could, in fact, be going for a backup striker to Romelu Lukaku rather than a wide player.
Mario Mandzukic is another reported target, a similar player to Arnautovic with his physical presence, so it’ll be interesting to see how concrete this interest actually is and whether developments occur.