Man Utd can’t even land Arnautovic as Bologna ‘convince’ striker to snub ‘desperate’ offers

Will Ford
Arnautovic Bologna

Marko Arnautovic was ‘enticed’ by Manchester United but is set to stay at Bologna after talks with his manager.

While United were being given the runaround by Brighton at Old Trafford, reports emerged of their interest in Arnautovic.

READ MORE: Ten Hag makes his Winners and Losers debut as Gerrard and Liverpool keep him company

The Athletic revealed that they had made a £6.8m bid for the 33-year-old, who spent six years in the Premier League with Stoke and West Ham.

Arnautovic’s brother and agent Danijel, when asked about the speculation, said: “It’s true that there’s a bid from a well-known club. I’m in contact with Bologna to see if that can be realised.”

The striker moved to China in 2019 and spent two years with Shanghai Port before returning to Europe last summer to join Bologna in Serie A.

Arnautovic scored 14 league goals last term which was apparently enough to tempt United into a bid to lure him to Old Trafford.

Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claim the United offer ‘enticed the striker, and not just a little’, claiming his brother and agent ‘came to the office with the offer of the Red Devils: just over €5m for the fee to be paid to Casteldebole and a contract worth around €3m post tax’.

Other reports suggest the initial bid was €8-9m.

But Bologna ‘makes a wall’, rejecting the offer, and have now managed to persuade Arnautovic that they remain the best club for him.

The Austria international reportedly sat down with Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic, whom Arnautovic ‘considers an older brother’, and was ‘convinced’ to stay.

The report claims there is ‘a sort of pact between the manager and the player’ to snub further interest from United, with an improved bid expected in the coming days.

Mihajlovic’s counterpart Erik ten Hag ‘will be pushing hard to get Marko signed’ with the two having worked together for three years while the Dutchman was assistant manager at FC Twente.

United legend Gary Neville said he had “nothing to say” on the Arnautovic links, despite actually having quite a lot to say on what he clearly thinks is another “desperate” move.

“The first thing you do when the phone rings from Manchester United is reject the bid, because the reality of it is after losing that game against Brighton on Sunday, they’re actually negotiating from an even worse position than they were on Saturday, and that’s an even bigger problem for them,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“I’ve got a comment on everything in the world, apart from Manchester United signing Marko Arnautovic. I’ve got nothing to say.

“We’ve seen Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Odion Ighalo – desperate, it’s a pattern. It’s happening time and time again. I don’t even get angry or animated about it anymore. I’m not going to comment about it.”