Italian club Bologna took extraordinary steps to encourage their talisman Marko Arnautovic to rebuff Manchester United’s interest in him in the summer.
It is an open secret that Erik ten Hag and United were interested in bringing the former West Ham star to Old Trafford.
With Cristiano Ronaldo hell-bent on an exit away from the 20-time English champions which would leave United short in the striker position, the club looked to Arnautovic as a possible short-term solution.
The move was met with a hostile reception from supporters and an avalanche of criticism directed towards the club for their pursuit of a player with a questionable moral compass.
Ronaldo eventually stayed and a move for the Austrian never came to fruition.
Fresh details have recently emerged regarding United’s failed chase for the 33-year-old, who is currently Serie A’s top scorer with 6 goals.
According to Gazetta dello Sport via Sport Witness, Bologna ‘repeated and reiterated’ to United that they would not sell their star, who was tempted by a return to England.
“The Italians managed the feat ‘with the extra and definitive step’ of giving him a wage increase.”
“The wage increase was equalling the offer of the team coached by Ten Hag’ of €3m/year net.”
While Bologna did not hand Arnautovic a new contract to reflect his increased wages, they achieved this by simply giving him more money.
The player was impressed by the Italian club’s reluctance to let him go and the extent they were willing to go to keep him at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
The United fans’ point of view meant that the situation ended in a win-win for all involved parties. Supporters got their wish of not having Arnautovic, Bologna got to keep their man and the player received a significant payday.