(Reuters) – Manuel Pellegrini believes Marko Arnautovich is "happy" in West Ham, although it links him with his retirement, and urges the Austrian to prove it with his performances.
Arnautovic told the Austrian newspaper "Courier" that he wanted to "compete with the best," while his brother and agent Daniel said the 29-year-old should "play for a supreme team" to fulfill his potential.
Manager Pellegriini said he understands the player's ambition but is confident of his commitment to the London Club.
"I know Marco, I know the way he thinks," the Chilean told reporters.
"I think every player in each team must have an ambitious mind and want to continue to improve his career.
"But I'm sure he's happy here, and the best way to show up is to have good performances."
Arnautovich, who joined the Stoke City club in July 2017, contributed five goals to West Ham this season, but repeated knee injury kept him in a limited training program for most of the campaign.
"Marco has had a difficult season in that sense," said Pelegrini to a Saturday home game against his former Manchester City club.
"He has not been able to work for a whole week from the beginning because of his knee, but there is no problem in those two weeks.
"I expect him to give his maximum performance in every game, he has a lot of power and goals, I expect him to make a full season in the way he did it for half a season last year."
(Report by Hardik Viss in Bengaluru, edited by Nick Mulveni)