Pelle leaves Southampton for China

Italy striker departs St Mary’s for lucrative Far East deal

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has completed his £12 million switch to the Chinese Super League with Shandong Luneng.

The striker has officially departed the Saints, after it was reported in recent days that the Chinese outfit were well on their way to completing the signing of the Italian who featured for Italy at this summer’s European Championships.

A statement on Southampton’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.”

Pelle is set to earn around £125,000-a-week, it is understood, and will link up with former Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse, who joined Luneng from the Championship side in the past week.

The 30-year-old netted 23 Premier League goals for the club, after joining the Saints two season ago from Feyenoord, and made a total of 81 appearances, but will leave Southampton with the club making a £4 million profit.

Former Bayern Munich and Fulham boss Felix Magath is the current boss of Pelle’s new club, and will join up with his new coach and teammates after a short break from international duty, where he scored twice for Italy at Euro 2016.

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