July 8, 2019 / 8:13 AM / 3 months ago

Shanghai Shenhua lure El Shaarawy from AS Roma

(Reuters) - Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua have signed Stephan El Shaarawy from AS Roma, making the Italy international forward their most expensive acquisition to date as they bid to avoid relegation.

The 26-year-old joined Shenhua for a transfer fee of 16 million euros ($17.95 million), the Italian Serie A club said on Monday.

Shenhua are 14th in the 16-team Chinese Super League standings just over halfway through the season, only one point above the relegation zone.

Former Valencia and Watford coach Quique Sanchez Flores resigned last week after just over six months in charge after a disappointing run, citing “personal reasons”.

El Shaarawy, capped 23 times by Italy, joined AS Roma from AC Milan in Jan. 2016 after spending the first half of the season on loan at French side Monaco.

Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdynia, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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