'Arnautovic is priceless!' - Man Utd told by Bologna director that target isn't for sale

Marko Arnautovic BolognaGetty Images

Manchester United's pursuit of Marko Arnautovic has already hit a stumbling block after Bologna chief Marco Di Vaio claimed that he has no intention of selling his star striker.

The Red Devils have been heavily linked with the 33-year-old in the last few days as Erik ten Hag looks to rectify his lack of attacking options. Anthony Martial picked up an injury that has ruled him out for the start of the season while Cristiano Ronaldo continues to push for a move away from the club.

Arnautovic, who previously played in the Premier League at Stoke City and West Ham, could provide crucial squad depth for Manchester United if he was made available for transfer.

What is Bologna's Arnautovic stance?

Speaking in response to speculation regarding Bologna's top goalscorer from last season, sporting director Di Vaio made his club's stance abundantly clear.

"It's not a question of money," he said to Mediaset. "Marko is priceless for us for what he represents from a technical point of view, for what he represents for our club, we want to move forward with him, he can do better than last year and help us grow.

"There is a lot of talk about our players and we reiterate that we are convinced to go on with him, to keep him, because he is at the center of our project. The fact that a club like Manchester United comes looking for our player makes us proud.

"Arnautovic is a winning bet, we all made great efforts to bring him here and he responded on the pitch, we want to go forward with him, our will is not to sell but to strengthen and complete the team to make an important season."

Where does it leave Manchester United?

Manchester United could be left extremely thin in the striker department with Edinson Cavani and potentially Ronaldo departing in the same summer, and their momentary pursuit of Darwin Nunez shelved with the Uruguayan player instead joining rivals Liverpool.

Martial impressed in pre-season but has struggled with fitness after his short-term loan to Sevilla. Marcus Rashford, while not strictly a striker, has been below his best for much of the time since Euro 2020, and Bruno Fernandes is preferred as a midfielder to a false-nine.

The Red Devils are eager, then, to address their shortage up front and will try to secure a move of some sort by the end of August.