Graziano Pelle: Southampton striker joins Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng

The 30-year-old striker scored 30 goals in 81 appearances for the south coast club

Mark Critchley
Monday 11 July 2016 13:50
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Pelle becomes the latest high-profile player to join China's top flight
Pelle becomes the latest high-profile player to join China's top flight

Graziano Pelle has left Southampton to join Shandong Luneng, the Chinese Super League side, for an undisclosed fee, believed to be approximately £13million.

The Italy international made 81 appearances and scored 30 goals for the south-coast club following his arrival from Feyenoord for £8million in the summer of 2014.

Pelle had been linked with a move to Antonio Conte's Chelsea after an impressive showing under the 46-year-old coach at this summer's European Championships.

However, Pelle has elected to become the latest high-profile player to swap a major European league for China’s top flight.

The 30-year-old is understood to have been eyeing a move to China since January, which saw Southampton move for QPR's Charlie Austin.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Everyone at Southampton Football Club would like to thank Graziano for his efforts during his time at St Mary's and wish him well for the future."

Additional reporting by PA

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