Shanghai Shenhua complete €16m deal to sign Roma forward El Shaarawy

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The Chinese Super League side have added the ex-Serie A forward to their ranks after successful negotiations in Shanghai

Stephan El Shaarawy has completed a switch to China after Shanghai Shenhua announced they had agreed on terms with his current club Roma.

Striker El Shaarawy has officially moved to the Chinese Super League (CSL) club for a reported €16 million (£14m/$18m).

In a statement on their website on Monday, Shanghai Shenhua confirmed they had reached an agreement with Roma.

"Shanghai Greenland Shenhua Football Club and Italy's Rome Football Club have reached a transfer agreement," the statement read.

"Stephan El Shaarawy, who has dual Italian and Egyptian nationality, is expected to arrive in Shanghai on July 8, Beijing time.

A 23-time Italy international, he scored 11 goals in 33 games in all competitions last season.

El Shaarawy told Football Italia: “I will always thank the Roma fans for these years we had together.

“I also thank all those who I worked with at Roma.”

The Italy international had originally said he was too young to go to China, but the 26-year-old has had a change of heart.

El Shaarawy was asked if he had spoken to Italy boss Roberto Mancini about how the move would affect his chances of more international calls.

“No, I haven’t heard from him,” the player said. 

El Shaarawy began his career with Genoa but made only four appearances for the club before first making his mark on loan with Padova where he scored nine goals in 29 games.

That was enough to earn a move to AC Milan in 2011 where he scored 21 goals in 82 appearances before loan spells with Monaco and then Roma which eventually became permanent.

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He was qualified to play for Egypt but decided to link up with Italy at Under-17 level before making his senior international debut in a 2-1 friendly defeat by England in August 2012.

He scored his first goal for his country against France in his third appearance and has scored three times in his 23 outings to date.

El Shaarawy joins a Shanghai Shenhua side struggling in 14th in the CSL after just three wins from their opening 16 games.

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