Southampton striker joins Papiss Cisse in China

Papiss Cisse has left Newcastle United to join Shandong Luneng, with the Chinese Super League side also signing Southamption striker Graziano Pelle, according to the Saints’ website.

Cisse completes Chinese switch

The Senegalese international striker appeared 131 times for Newcastle, scoring 44 goals, 13 of which arrived in his first 14 matches with the club, after he joined them from Freiburg midway through the 2011-2012 season.

In the following four seasons which Cisse spent with Newcastle he struggled to score regularly and was on occasion guilty of ill-discipline, with the biggest example of that arriving in March 2015. Specifically the 31-year-old received a seven game ban after the F.A. found him guilty of spitting at Manchester United’s Johnny Evans, as Newcastle lost 1-0 to the Red Devils at St. James’ Park.

Subsequently Cisse scored just three more goals for the Magpies during the 2015-16 season. That ended with Newcastle being relegated to the Championship, which Cisse hopes the club can recover from.

“I hope that the team are quickly back in the Premier League. We had some great times together and hopefully under Rafa Benitez those times will return,” revealed Cisse in an interview with the BBC, as he joins a series of high profile names to move to the Chinese Super League.

Those include Cisse’s former Newcastle team mate Demba Ba, Hulk, Jackson Martinez and Alex Teixeira, with Pelle joining that list, as Shandong Luneng will pay £13m for the Italian forward.

Pelle moves to China

Southampton approximately make a £4m profit on the 31-year-old who they signed from Feyenoord two years ago. The Saints were reluctant to extend Pelle’s one year contract, whilst having previously planned for his departure by signing Charlie Austin from QPR for £4m in January.

They did so after being made aware of Pelle’s desire to move to China. Despite missing a penalty in Italy’s 6-5 quarter final penalty shoot-out defeat to Germany, Pelle enjoyed an excellent Euro 2016, scoring against Belgium and Spain, to raise his transfer value.

Indicative of that is the £13m bid submitted for him by Shandong Lenung who are managed by the former Fulham and Schalke boss Felix Magath.

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