El Shaarawy leaves Roma for China’s Shenhua

Source:AFP Published: 2019/7/8 18:28:42

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

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

Sky Sport Italia had reported in late June that the 26-year-old had rejected a move to the Chinese Super League strugglers, 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 4 million euros a year with Roma. He scored 11 goals in Serie A last season as Roma finished sixth.

Shenhua are aiming to bolster their squad during the summer transfer window ­after slipping to 14th in the 16-team Chinese Super League, one point above the relegation places, at the season's midway point. The club said last week that Spanish manager Enrique "Quique" Sanchez Flores had resigned for "personal reasons" after just half a season in charge.

The former Watford boss Sanchez Flores has been replaced by South Korean Choi Kang-hee, who coached K-League giants Jeonbuk Motors for five years until 2018 when he moved to China's Tianjin Quanjian before moving to DaliAlso on Monday, Premier League side West Ham said Marko Arnautovic has completed his move to Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed fee.

The Austrian scored 22 goals in 65 appearances in two seasons at the Hammers, but has been linked with a lucrative move to China since January. 

According to reports West Ham will receive 22 million pounds ($28 million) for the 30-year-old after turning down a 35 million pound bid just six months ago.

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