£13m Chelsea target set to leave Southampton for China

Date published: Friday 8th July 2016 5:15 - Mark Scott

Graziano Pelle: Heading for Southampton exit

A reunion with Antonio Conte at Chelsea now appears unlikely as Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has reportedly agreed a move to China.

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.

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

But, 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.

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