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Marko Arnautovic

Forward still part of Pellegrini’s plans but striker is top of the shopping list

West Ham United star Marko Arnautovic will be still part of Manuel Pellegrini’s plans next season but a striker is a top priority when the transfer window reopens, according to Claret & Hugh.

The Hammers boss still thinks there is more to come from the Austria international and the Chilean has suggested that he was responsible for the forward receiving a new contract at the end of January.

The 30-year-old has scored nine times for West Ham this season, including bagging a brace in the 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, but Pellegrini is keen to add a new striker to his squad this summer.

Claret & Hugh suggest that the Hammers are willing to listen to offers for forwards Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez once the transfer window reopens in June while midfielder Pedro Obiang is wanting to leave and return to Europe.

A left-back is also high on the priority list for the West Ham manager as is a centre-back with Winston Reid struggling with injury problems and Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena both failing to make an impact.

Alaves defender Guillermo Maripan has been linked with a move to the Olympic Stadium in recent weeks and the Hammers are rumoured to have already a tabled a bid for the 24-year-old.

A replacement for Obiang should he leave this summer is unlikely with Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Declan Rice all vying for places in midfield.

Back-to-back wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton has seen West Ham move up to 11th in the Premier League table.

The Hammers end the season against Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

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