Graziano Pelle set to quit Southampton for China

The Saints striker is in talks about a move to the Chinese Super League.

Graziano Pelle set to quit Southampton for China
Has Pelle played his last game for the Saints? Photo source: The Telegraph

Southampton forward Graziano Pelle looks set to leave the club this window, as he edges closer to a move to the Far East.

The Chinese club is yet to be confirmed but reports suggest his destination will be Shandong Luneng

Time at Southampton

Pelle has made a big impact during his time at the Saints, despite only playing for the club over the last two seasons. The Italian forward has scored 23 goals in 68 games for the club, which shows why the decision by Ronald Koeman to bring him into the club was a successful one.

Pelle was said to have asked for a move away from the club in January, which Southampton refused. Speculation had been rife that he would be moving to Chelsea when Charlie Austin was signed by Koeman. 

Pelle had a successful goal-scoring record on the south coast | Image: Sky Sports
Pelle had a successful goal-scoring record on the south coast | Image: Sky Sports

Interest elsewhere

Pelle scored twice at this summer's Euro 2016 tournament and his stock rose as the competition progressed. His recent form has attracted interest from numerous clubs. The Chelsea rumours were also mentioned in recent weeks. 

Everton were said to be chasing the 30-year-old, who has one year left on his deal, as Koeman was keen to work with the forward again. Juventus were also linked with the striker and it is surprising that Pelle would turn down a move back to his home country. 

Chinese move

It is no secret that football in China is improving, due to the money at clubs' disposal. Pelle has reportedly been offered £125,000 a week to be the latest player to move, with Southampton being paid £13 million. The attacker only has one year left on his current deal and Southampton may want to sell him instead of losing him on a free next year. 

If the move takes place, Pelle will join a long list of high-profile players who have chosen to move to the Chinese Super League. This includes Hulk, Ramires, Paulinho, Demba Ba and Jackson Martinez