Graziano Pelle completes his move to Shandong Luneng

The Saints striker has moved to the Chinese club in a £13 million deal.

Graziano Pelle completes his move to Shandong Luneng
Photo source: The Independent

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has completed his move to Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng.

The Italian marksman has been linked with numerous big clubs in recent weeks but has chosen to become the latest high profile player to move to the Far East.

The move

It had been reported that a deal was close between the two clubs earlier this week but the move was only formally announced this afternoon on the Shandong Luneng Twitter acount. Pelle joins the Chinese side in the same week that Newcastle United forward Papiss Cisse completed his move to the club.

It is no secret the clubs in China have a lot of money at their disposal. As well as the £13 million transfer fee, it is reported that the 30-year-old will receive in excess of £100,000 a week in wages. This is likely to be a big factor in why he chose to move to Asia.

His time at the club

Pelle was a huge hit during his spell at St Mary's. He made 68 appearances and scored 23 goals after signing from Feyenoord back in 2014. 

His form also saw him frequently earn call ups to the Italian national side. His place on the international stage may now be in jeopardy due to the quality of the football played in China. 

Possible replacements

New manager Claude Puel has hinted that the club will not actively seek a replacement for Pelle in this transfer window. Charlie Austin was signed back in January as a potential replacement for the Italian, who was seeking a move away from the club during the winter. 

The money that Southampton will receive from the Pelle deal will now probably be spent trying to replace Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama. Bayern Munich midfielder Pierre Emile Hojbjerg is set to join the club for around £12 million in the next few days. 

Hojbjerg is set to sign for Saints in the coming days (photo: Getty)
Hojbjerg is set to sign for Saints in the coming days (photo: Getty)