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30-Year-Old Journeyman Becomes Fifth-Highest Paid Footballer In The World

Graziano Pelle, who scored 11 Premier League goals in 30 appearances for Southampton last season, is about to make as much money as Zlatan Ibrahimovic after accepting a transfer to Chinese side Shandong Luneng. 

The Italian international had been wanted by the likes of Chelsea and Everton, but he’s decided to leave Southampton in a £13 million transfer while signing a contract that will pay him £13.6 million per year for two years.


Pelle scored two goals for Italy during Euro 2016, and, at 30, he’s in the prime of his professional career. He’s now set to earn more than fellow strikers Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema. 

This will be the Italian's 10th club in 14 years as a professional. After a slow start to his career, Pelle has found recent success in the Netherlands with Feyenoord and, most recently, in England with Southampton.

Pelle has also collected 17 caps with Italy while scoring seven goals over the last three years. 

Pelle joins the likes of Jackson Martinez, Hulk, Ezequiel Lavezzi and fellow Shandong Luneng signing Papiss Cisse in the Chinese Super League. 

Most expensive Chinese signings

The CSL knows how to splash the cash. Photo: @BBCSport | Twitter

The CSL is past the midway point of its current 2016 season, with Shandong Luneng currently languishing at the bottom of the table. They’ve scored only 15 goals in 16 matches, but the additions of Cisse and Pelle should see them become one of the best attacking sides in the division.

Guangzhou Evergrande, the club containing the likes of Paulinho, Martinez and Ricardo Goulart, are currently 10 points clear at the top of the table.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

Follow me on Twitter: @ConmanFleming

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