Graziano Pelle’s two year spell at Saints has officially come to an end after he completed a £13m move to China.

The Italian striker, who scored 30 goals for Saints in two seasons at St Mary’s, has moved to Shandong Luneng, who are believed to have handed him a three-year contract worth around £6m a year.

The Daily Echo understands that Saints are not going to move to immediately replace Pelle.

The club always look and plan ahead and were prepared that Pelle would probably have left by the end of this summer, which is why they took pre-emptive action by signing Charlie Austin for just £4m in January.


It leaves them with still three frontline options for one striking role next season with Austin joined by Shane Long and the fit again Jay Rodriguez.

On top of that Ryan Seager is seen as a youngster that could make an impact, while Sam Gallagher is also in the background as another back-up option if required.

In a statement issued today, Saints confirmed: "Southampton Football Club can confirm striker Graziano Pellè has joined Chinese side Shandong Luneng for an undisclosed fee.

"The 30 year-old moved to St Mary's from Dutch side Feyenoord in the summer of 2014, helping Saints achieve back-to-back record-breaking seasons in the Premier League.

"Pellè made 81 appearances during two successful campaigns with the club, scoring 30 goals – including some spectacular strikes – and earning recognition at international level with Italy.

"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."

The club are still working on the £12m signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, and remain optimistic they might be able to tie up a deal for the Bayern Munich midfielder today.