Marko Arnautovic Set for Bologna Free Transfer

Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic is set to return to Europe, with a free transfer to Bologna on the cards.

Fabrizio Romano says that the player wants to engineer an exit from his Shanghai Port contract to play in Italy.

Marko Arnautovic to Engineer Shanghai Exit to Return to Europe

Austria Out of the Euros

The eventual destination of Arnautovic is likely to be the very nation that Austria lost to in the round of 16 at Euro 2020.

Italy beat Austria 2-1, an exciting match where Arnautovic thought he had scored an all-important goal for his country. Despite his superb header on the back post, flicked across goal to beat Gianluigi Donnarumma, there was a marginal offside call. A fabulous finish ruled out.

Slightly less fabulous was the way Arnautovic was banned for a match. After scoring Austria’s third against North Macedonia in the group stage, the player spewed some foul-mouthed comments at a North Macedonia player.

Arnautovic in Shanghai

Arnautovic left Europe for the Chinese Super League in July 2019, following a strong season at West Ham.

His fee was rumoured to be around £22.4 million and he started to prove his worth just two weeks later with a debut goal against Chongqing Dangdai Lifan.

He has since gone on to score 20 goals in 39 matches.

Arnautovic will join a number of high profile stars leaving the Chinese Super League, which is in financial trouble. A total of 16 clubs have been lost across the top three Chinese leagues in the past year.

Spurred on by President Xi Jinping, many Chinese businesses invested in football clubs in order to boost China’s footballing reputation.

But since the financial troubles, a number of measures have been brought in to curb excessive spending. This includes transfer taxes on foreign signings as well as salary caps.

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur star Paulinho has already left the Chinese Super League. His contract was terminated by Guangzhou FC after an extended stint at the club.

Back to Europe

Foul-mouthed tirades over, Arnautovic looks to have impressed enough during the Euros to forge his way back to Europe and to Italy.

Bologna finished 12 in Serie A last season. With the arrival of Arnautovic, the Italian outfit will supplement their firepower. It will be a return of sorts for the player who made three appearances for Inter Milan on loan in 2009/10.

This loan deal was meant to be a stepping stone to a permanent transfer. However, Arnautovic decided against the move, with his then-manager Jose Mourinho saying he had the attitude of a child.

At the age of 32, it seems that Arnautovic is still struggling a little on the attitude front following his outburst at the Euros. But, since his last time out in Serie A, he has picked up a wealth of experience across Europe including at West Ham United, Stoke City and Werder Bremen.

Bologna represent another middling side that Arnautovic has been a part of. The 6ft 4in forward has some ability, with good speed, dribbling and an eye for goal. But, it seems that it is his attitude and the mental side to his game that has let him down over his career.

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