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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Graziano Pelle set for Southampton exit

Graziano Pelle is set to leave Southampton
Graziano Pelle is set to leave Southampton

Graziano Pelle is set to swap Southampton for China in a £13million deal, Press Association Sport understands.

Following an impressive Euro 2016, the Italy striker had been linked with a move to join outgoing Azzurri manager Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

Pelle is set to leave St Mary's this summer but Press Association Sport understands the 30-year-old will be heading to the Far East rather than west London.

Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng is believed to be the destination in a deal worth £13million - a profit of around £4million on a player signed from Feyenoord two years ago.

Pelle, who turns 31 next week, only has a year remaining on his Southampton deal and the Premier League club were believed to have been reluctant to offer an extension.

The forward is understood to have been eyeing a move to China since January, which is part of the reason behind the timing of Saints' move for QPR's Charlie Austin.

A ready-made replacement, Austin will compete with Jay Rodriguez and Shane Long in the attacking positions once Pelle's move is complete.

Saints are understood to be actively searching for a defensive midfielder to replace Victor Wanyama and have already signed Nathan Redmond from Norwich in a £10million deal, just days before they collected a club-record fee when Sadio Mane moved to Liverpool.

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