Arnautovic refuses to commit to Stoke


Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes admitted he has no idea if Marko Arnautovic plans to extend his stay at the club.

The Austria international is busy preparing for his country's Euro 2016 campaign, but Scholes is aware of interest in one of the club's key players who is yet to sign a contract extension.

Arnautovic's deal does not expire until the end of the 2016-17 season, but with a release clause of £12.5million in his contract, potential suitors might be tempted to make a move particularly if he can continue his strong form from the domestic season on the international stage.

"I would love to appear more knowledgeable than anyone else on this," Scholes told the Stoke Sentinel, "but the truth is it's in Marko's hands.

"And at the moment, the decision he's taken is that he doesn't want to sign yet.

"He's not out of contract for another year, albeit there is a release clause in his contract.

"We hope he will sign, but as I sit here now I can't give you a definitive answer on that.

"We want him to sign. He knows what we are prepared to pay. We believe this is the best place for him given the season he's had, but at this moment in time Marko and his agent are biding their time."

Whatever the outcome, Scholes said he would like to know sooner rather than later.

"It's not ideal," he admitted. "We would prefer to know, but we live with that uncertainty on a number of things. Last year we had Steven N'Zonzi of course.

"The reality is, with players within your squad you never have absolute certainty where their minds are going to be, albeit you have contractual certainty for most of them."

Arnautovic scored 11 league goals for Stoke this season.