Former Arsenal star Paul Mariner has insisted West Ham must let Marko Arnautovic leave the club this month, especially as he can become a bad apple in the dressing room.

Arnautovic, who is the subject of interest from Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League, has expressed his desire to leave the London Stadium this month.

However, the Hammers rejected a £35m bid for the Austrian and have subsequently maintained they are not planning to cash in on him during the winter transfer window.

The 29-year-old is an integral member of Manuel Pellegrini’s regime in east London, but Mariner feels he must not be denied the opportunity to move on, if he really wants the deal to go through.

Mariner also insisted West Ham must let Arnautovic go, as he could quickly become a bad apple within in the dressing room.

“The thing is when he is on board with the club, he is fantastic, but when he is not, you talk about a bad apple”, Mariner said on the ESPN FC show.

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“He can really make this dressing room go sour very, very quickly.

“I think for the sake of the football club, I know the fans love him, I love him at West Ham, but I think he wants to move, he’s off [to China potentially].”

Arnautovic has been directly involved in 10 goals across all competitions so far this term, but will not be involved for the Hammers against Bournemouth on Saturday.