It was revealed earlier today that Stoke City’s enigmatic attacking midfielder Marko Arnautovic is free to leave the Britannia for a fee of just £12.5 million! This buyout clause, which is triggered in July, has sparked a scramble for the Austrian’s signature.
With the Potters currently clinging on to a top half finish, it may be time for the obviously talented Austrian to make his move. A player that can create a magic spark from the wilderness is a key attribute treasured by the sides higher up the table. Arnautovic will be looking for an experience in European football to further his career, while not compromising his consistent match time. But which clubs are circling like sharks for the former Werder Bremen man’s signature?
Runaway Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain are reportedly first in line to capture the 27-year-old. The Champions League quarter finalists interest was rebuffed in January, but with Arnautovic entering the final year of his contract this summer, a move to the European giants could be on the cards.
When Arnautovic made the original move to England in 2013 for a fee of just £2 million, his nasty streak looked to be holding him back, regularly being withdrawn early in matches in fear of receiving a dismissal. But having shrugged off this unwanted characteristic thanks to Potters gaffer Mark Hughes, he has now adapted nicely to the physical style of the Premier League. He seems to be enjoying life in England now, and why change what’s not broken?
One thing is for sure, the once Inter Milan loanee has been a hit during his three years in Englands top flight. Building a deadly attacking trident with recent signings Bojan Krkic and Xherdan Shaqiri, who has not made the quite the impact expected, as explained in my previous article. With promoted sides seemingly getting stronger by the season, it could be his Staffordshire swansong against West Ham on the 15th of May.