Marko Arnautovic’s transfer U-turn which has seen him go from pushing for a move to China to stating his commitment to West Ham has been questioned by Joe Cole.
Having learned of interest from Asia, with a lucrative contract on the table, the Austrian forward saw his head turned.
He was eager to take up the offer, but the Hammers stood firm in the middle of a Premier League campaign and refused to sanction a sale.
An unsettled Arnautovic was briefly removed from their plans amid a distracting January saga, but the 29-year-old has since come out and stated his willingness to stay on at the London Stadium.
As a key part of Manuel Pellegrini’s squad, he can be expected to slip straight back into the fold.
Former West Ham star Cole is, however, not convinced that Arnautovic has altered his stance and is merely making the right noises in public.
“Now something has gone wrong.
“Me personally, if I was in that position of being so desperate to go last week, as he said, be honest, come out and say it’s a lot of money and I would like to go for financial reasons.
“This week everyone is looking at it totally different because last week he was honest but this week everyone is saying do you think we’re stupid?”
Arnautovic penned a five-year contract with West Ham upon his arrival from Stoke.
That deal is due to run until 2022, with the Hammers under no pressure to part with a player they snapped up as part of a club-record £20 million ($26m) deal.
They may, however, see further interest shown, with Arnautovic still on the radar of those in the Chinese Super League while also being talked up for possible moves to Premier League rivals such as Chelsea.