Graziano Pelle mobbed by Shandong Luneng fans as striker lands in China with girlfriend Viktoria Varga after £13m transfer

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He’s yet to kick a ball for his new club but it appears Graziano Pelle is already idolised by Shandong Luneng supporters.


The Italy international was given a rapturous reception from the Chinese outfit’s fans upon his arrival to the country on Tuesday.

He was mobbed by a jubilant fanbase as he made his way through the airport in Jinan – the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China.

Pelle was greeted by jubilant fans after landing in China following his £13million arrival from Southampton

Pelle was greeted by jubilant fans after landing in China following his £13million arrival from Southampton

Pelle was joined by his model girlfriend Viktoria Varga as they made their way through the airport in Jinan

Pelle was joined by his model girlfriend Viktoria Varga as they made their way through the airport in Jinan

Some fans even turned up with picture signs of Pelle in action as they welcomed their new signing

Some fans even turned up with picture signs of Pelle in action as they welcomed their new signing

Some even held a picture sign of Pelle and Varga together as the mania around the striker continued

Some even held a picture sign of Pelle and Varga together as the mania around the striker continued

Pelle’s girlfriend model Viktoria Varga accompanied him on the flight to China as she and her loved one embark on a new adventure.

Pelle was all smiles as he posed for pictures with supporters, while draped in a Shandong Luneng scarf.

Some fans even turned up with picture signs of Pelle in action as well as a photo of the couple – as excitement of their new signing continues to grow.

Pelle joined Shandong Luneng in a £13million from Southampton on Monday.

The 30-year-old made 81 appearances during two successful campaigns with the Saints, scoring 30 goals

The 30-year-old made 81 appearances during two successful campaigns with the Saints, scoring 30 goals

Pelle featured for Italy at Euro 2016 but missed a decisive spot-kick in the quarter-final defeat by Germany

Pelle featured for Italy at Euro 2016 but missed a decisive spot-kick in the quarter-final defeat by Germany

TOP 10 BEST PAID PLAYERS

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – £346,000 per week

2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – £327,000 per week

3. Hulk (Shanghai SIPG) – £327,000 per week

4. Neymar (Barcelona) – £312,000 per week

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) – £260,000 per week

=5. Graziano Pelle (Shandong Luneng) – £260,000 per week

It is understood Pelle will earn £260,000 per week in China, making him the joint-fifth highest paid player in the world.

The deal represents a £5m profit for the Saints on a player who turns 31 on Friday.

A statement on Southampton’s official website read: ‘Everyone at Southampton Football Club would like to thank Graziano for his efforts during his time at St Mary’s and wish him well for the future.’

Pelle moved to St Mary’s from Dutch side Feyenoord in the summer of 2014, helping the club achieve back-to-back record-breaking seasons in the Premier League.

The 30-year-old, who featured for Italy at Euro 2016, made 81 appearances during two successful campaigns with the Saints, scoring 30 goals.

Pelle is the latest player to switch to China in a big-money move following the transfers of Jackson Martinez, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Ramires.

Pelle's girlfriend - Hungarian model  Varga - was spotted in the crowd supporting him at Euro 2016

Pelle’s girlfriend – Hungarian model Varga – was spotted in the crowd supporting him at Euro 2016

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