West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic has been urged to reject a move to China and wait for Chelsea.
West Ham reportedly turned down an offer of £35 million this week from an unnamed Chinese club for the 29-year-old striker while Chelsea have been linked with a move for the West Ham star.
Arnautovic’s agent and brother Danijel announced this week that the Austrian wanted to leave West Ham but the east London club insists Arnautovic is not for sale.
“I’ve seen him over the last sort of six months to a year at West Ham,” former West Ham striker Dean Ashton told talkSPORT.
“He’s been pumping his chest, pumping the badge, he’s been doing the cross arms for the Hammers.
“So he’s been making out as if he absolutely loves being at West Ham, he loves the fans.
“So this is going to be a big test to whether he actually means that or whether that was just for show and actually he’s going to cop out and take the money.
“I think he should stay because actually I think there would be better sides, like maybe a Chelsea or even a Manchester United, that would look at him because he has been that good.
“Since David Moyes played him through the middle, he’s surprised me actually at how quick he is, how strong is, how well he can lead the line actually.
“He’s obviously got a lot of ability to link the play as well.
“I think he would be a superb signing for anyone.
“But West Ham, they have to keep him, it’s as simple as that.”
Meanwhile Paul Merson insists Chelsea should be making a move to sign Arnautovic and not Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson.
“I’m not surprised Maurizio Sarri has demanded a striker this week because they need one badly and they could probably get Wilson from Bournemouth for £30m,” Merson told Daily Star.
“He’s a willing runner and he would help them stretch the game.
“At the moment it’s all so slow and predictable and the whole game is being played in a 30-yard space.
“There is no movement at all and everyone just stays in their own position, so it’s easy for teams to stop and it could cost Chelsea a top-four finish.
“Wilson would help because he makes good runs and he’s scoring goals right now.
“Olivier Giroud is just a target man and he’s injured anyway.
“As for Alvaro Morata, I honestly don’t know what he does. I don’t know what the Spaniard gives you – and Eden Hazard is just not a striker.
“But as much as Wilson would help, I don’t think he’s the answer. He’s a good stop-gap but he’s not going to guarantee you top four.
“West Ham’s star man Arnautovic might, though. He is a proven goalscorer and he gives you something different.
“He can make things happen and do something special.
“His agent has been making noises about him leaving as well and Chelsea could probably get him for £40m because of his age.
“They’ve just spent nearly £60m on Christian Pulisic.
“You pay for potential these days but he’s just a kid and he’s not coming until the summer anyway. He might be a big hit for Chelsea one day.
“But they need players now, not for three years’ time. They should go for Arnautovic.”