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Shenhua snares Italy's El Shaarawy

China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-09 09:22
AS Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy celebrates scoring their first goal during a Serie A match against Inter Milan in San Siro, Milan, Italy on April 20, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

Italy forward Stephan El Shaarawy has agreed to join China's Shanghai Shenhua, the club announced on Monday, 10 days after it was reported the player wanted to stay at Roma.

Terms were not disclosed but Italian media reported El Shaarawy will earn a lucrative 15-16 million euros ($17-18 million) a year, while Roma will pocket a transfer fee that could reach 20 million euros ($22.5 million) according to Transfermarkt.com.

Sky Sport Italia reported in late June that the 26-year-old had rejected a move to the Chinese Super League struggler, with newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claiming Shenhua had balked at his demands to have input into choosing the club's coach and playing staff.

El Shaarawy - nicknamed 'The Pharoah' because of his Egyptian ancestry - had only a year left on his contract with the Serie A club, having joined Roma in 2016 from AC Milan after a loan spell in Monaco.

Capped 23 times for Italy, he had reportedly sought a new deal worth four million euros a year with Roma. He scored 11 goals in Serie A last season as Roma finished sixth and qualified for the Europa League.

Shenhua is aiming to bolster its squad during the summer transfer window after slipping to 14th in the 16-team CSL, just one point above the relegation places, at the season's midway point.

The club said last week that Spanish manager Quique Sanchez Flores had resigned for "personal reasons" after just half a season in charge.

The former Watford boss has been replaced by South Korean Choi Kang-hee, who coached K-League giant Jeonbuk Motors for five years until 2018 before moving to Tianjin Quanjian and later Dalian Yifang, where he was last week replaced by Rafa Benitez.

Choi will reunite with former Jeonbuk forward Kim Shin-wook after Shenhua also said on Monday it had signed the South Korea international.

Agence France - presse

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