‘Difficult decision’ – Marko Arnautovic opens up on failed Manchester United transfer

    Bologna FC v US Sassuolo - Serie A
    Man Utd bid £7.5m for Marko Arnautovic during the summer (Photo: Getty)

    Former Manchester United transfer target Marko Arnautovic has revealed just how close he came to moving to Old Trafford.

    It was widely reported that the Bologna forward was high on United’s shortlist during the summer, with Erik ten Hag’s side keen to land the services of the ex-Stoke and West Ham star.

    The news sparked plenty of backlash from fans and pundits however, who believed Arnautovic was the exact opposite type of player that United should have been targeting.

    Ultimately, the response was so strong that the Red Devils quickly abandoned the transfer, but not before having a £7.5million bid rejected by the Serie A side.

    Arnautovic’s agent previously claimed that the player also rejected the move, something that the 33-year-old has now confirmed, though he admitted it was not the easiest call to make.

    ‘Manchester United tried to sign me several times,’ the Austrian international told Laola1.

    ‘And it was a difficult decision to stay in Italy because my family wanted to return to England.

    Watford FC v West Ham United - Premier League
    Arnautovic scored 22 goals in 65 games for West Ham from 2017 to 2019 (Photo: Getty)

    ‘For me it’s clear that the Red Devils remain at the top of the universe. And Bologna, as a name, are not. But that’s fine.

    ‘Here everything is calm, you have time for yourself and no stress. This is only good for me.’

    After a stellar first campaign in Italy, Arnautovic has carried his great form into this season, scoring eight goals in 13 Serie A games so far – only Napoli sensation Victor Osimhen has more.

    United meanwhile, failed to a new centre-forward though the form of Marcus Rashford has softened that blow.

    However, with Antony Martial still struggling with injuries and Cristiano Ronaldo destined to leave following his explosive Piers Morgan interview, Ten Hag will no doubt be desperate to bring a new No.9 to Old Trafford come January.

    MORE : Anthony Martial involved in training ground bust-up with Manchester United team-mate Dan Gore

    MORE : Louis van Gaal recalls wanting to sign Liverpool legend Sadio Mane for Manchester United

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