West Ham United have reportedly slapped a £60 million fee on Marko Arnautovic, who is a summer target for Manchester United

According to a report by Daily Mirror, West Ham United are stepping up their efforts to keep hold of Marko Arnautovic beyond the summer transfer window. Manchester United are interested in signing the Austrian forward, but will have to shell out £60 million to prise him away from the London Stadium.

Arnautovic has had quite an eventful senior career since graduating from FC Twente’s academy. The player featured for the likes of Twente, Inter Milan and Werder Bremen before reaching the shores of England. In the Premier League, he first joined Stoke City, where he spent four successful seasons before joining West Ham United, who broke their transfer record last summer to sign him.

At the London Stadium, Arnautovic encountered initial teething problems, but soon became a pivotal player, scoring 11 goals in the last 22 games of the season to lead the Hammers’ bid for safety before being named as their Player of the Year. But, his superlative performances this past season has attracted the interest of several top clubs, with Manchester United now leading in his pursuit.

Here to stay? (Photo courtesy - Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Here to stay? (Photo courtesy – Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Red Devils seem intent on reinforcing their attack this summer, with the right flank a priority area. Arnautovic would then be a solution on two accounts for Manchester United, with the Austrian not just capable of playing on the right flank, but also spearhead the attack, making him a potential backup to Romelu Lukaku.

But, what could possibly throw a spanner in the works is the fact that Arnautovic prefers playing on the left wing, where Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho already has a problem of plenty, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial vying for one spot.

But, Mourinho has reportedly identified the Austrian international as a priority target, having even scouted him personally last week on a trip that also saw him scout Aleksandr Golovin. But, West Ham are making it difficult for Manchester United to secure the services of their star man, having slapped a £60 million price on him.

While their official position is that they do not intend on selling the player, they will recoup the highest possible amount if their hand is forced. The £60 million valuation is sure to get Manchester United thinking again at the very least, but if Mourinho wishes to reunite with Arnautovic, he could get his wish.

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