Italy's El Shaarawy leaves Roma for China's Shanghai Shenhua

Stephan El Shaarawy (Getty Images)
Stephan El Shaarawy (Getty Images)

China - 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 ($22.5 million) according to

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 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 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The former Watford boss Sanchez Flores has been replaced by South Korean Choi Kang-hee, who coached K-League giants Jeonbuk Motors for five years until 2018 when he moved to China's Tianjin Quanjian before moving to Dalian Yifang.

Choi will reunited with his former Jeonbuk frontman Kim Shin-wook after Shenhua also said Monday that they had signed the South Korean international striker. 

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