Alberto Gilardino to join Guangzhou
Genoa striker Alberto Gilardino has announced he has accepted an offer to join Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande after 14 seasons playing in Serie A.
The 32-year-old Italy international had been strongly linked with a move away from Genoa this summer with Guangzhou and Major League Soccer side Toronto FC keen to acquire his services.
Gilardino, who was under contract with Genoa until June 2016, scored 15 goals for the Grifoni in Serie A last season and joins the Chinese outfit in a reported five million euro transfer deal.
The former Fiorentina star announced his departure via his Twitter account on Thursday.
His tweet read: "To my dearest fans and friends, this morning [Thursday] I have signed a contract with Guangzhou and for me a new adventure begins.
"I really wanted to thank you all for your support throughout these years.
"I had the opportunity to go to Canada [with Toronto FC] in December but I turned it down because I really dreamed of playing with the Azzurri [at the 2014 World Cup].
"With that dream over, I gave myself the aim of getting to know a new culture, a different football and way of life and I made my choice."
Gilardino, who has scored 170 league goals in his career to be among the top 15 all-time scorers in Serie A, will be reunited with Marcello Lippi.
Lippi, who guided Gilardino and Italy to win the 2006 World Cup in Germany, has been in charge of the Chinese side since 2012.