Publication date: Saturday, January 12, 2019 5:52
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is hopeful that Marko Arnautovic will stay at the London Stadium this month.
The Hammers boss chose to select Arnautovic for the 1-0 win over Arsenal, despite the fact that the forward was apparently enthusiastic about moving to China in January.
The brother and agent of the 29-year-old claimed earlier in the week that Arnautovic wants to leave for the Chinese Super League and begged the club not to stand in his way.
Arnautovic was shot in the West Ham side and got a positive reaction from the home fans, although he waved to every corner of the stadium when he was replaced by Andy Carroll in the second half.
"We will see what will happen in the coming days and I hope he will make the best decision," said Pellegrini when asked if the former Stoke man waved goodbye.
"I have been in this position a lot in my 30 years, but I am calm with nothing 100% certain (with regard to the future of Arnautovic)."
Although Arnautovic and Samir Nasri were speaking points, match winner Rice was praised by Pellegrini for praise.
The 19-year-old celebrates his birthday on Monday and has recently signed a new contract with West Ham.
He still has to decide whether he wants to represent England or the Republic of Ireland on an international level, but Pellegrini knows for sure that whatever country he chooses to play for will benefit.
"I'm sure Declan will be a top player," he added.
"He improves in every game he plays, he is now more used to giving us a good preparation.
"I am sure we will soon see a top player and we will not only see for West Ham, but also for the national team where he decides to play."