Graziano Pelle completes move to China; West Ham sign Tore
Southampton have sold striker Graziano Pelle to Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng.
Pelle, 30, had one year remaining on his contract with Southampton and after his fine performances for Italy at EURO 2016 the towering forward has sealed a lucrative move to China. It is believed he will earn over $140,000 per week in the CSL.
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Shandong Luneng have also signed Papiss Cisse from Newcastle United as the big money moves continue to roll in the CSL as Pelle and Cisse join the likes of Ramires, Hulk, Jackson Martinez, Obafemi Martins, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Alex Teixeira in China.
The transfer fee for Pelle is said fo be $16 million, which is $5 million more than Southampton paid Feyenoord for him in 2014. In 81 games for Saints he scored 30 goals, leading the line in both of Ronald Koeman’s seasons in charge at St Mary’s.
It is believed Pelle wanted to make the switch to China back in January but Southampton were reluctant to sell but now they have Shane Long, Charlie Austin and Jay Rodriguez in attack, new manager Claude Puel must believe he already has enough attacking options and he will almost certainly bring in another striker during the summer transfer window.
Southampton have now sold three key players from the team which sealed a sixth-place finish last season as Sadio Mane was sold to Liverpool for $50 million and Victor Wanyama joined Tottenham in a deal worth $16 million.
Saints’ fans will be hoping plenty of that cash will be reinvested in new players as they aim to push for the top four under new manager Puel, plus make a splash in the Europa League group stages for the first time in club history.
West Ham United have wrapped up a season-long loan deal for Turkish international Gokhan Tore.
Tore, 24, played for Slaven Bilic when he was manager of Turkish powerhouse Besiktas and the Hammers have the option to buy Tore permanently for $13 million at the end of this season.
He was previously with Chelsea as a youngster (he played in the youth and reserve teams) but the tricky winger has made his name in Germany and Turkey since leaving Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to West Ham’s website, he’s excited to be reunited with Bilic.
“I am very happy to be at West Ham. I watched many games that they played last season and saw how passionate the fans are. That made me want to come here and I am looking forward to playing in front of them. Slaven was also a big factor in me coming here and he is a great manager. He is the main man and knows me very well. I could not have said no to him.