Graziano Pelle is set to join Chinese Super League outfit Shandong Luneng on a two-and-a-half-year deal worth £33million.
The Italy international striker has one year left on his St Mary’s contract and had been tipped to go back to Serie A if Saints decided to let him go.
But the recent pulling power of China seems set to take another top player to the Far East with Hulk and Papiss Cisse having already been snapped up by different clubs.
Newcastle United are understood to have received £2.5million from Shandong Luneng for Cisse, although the fee was officially undisclosed.
But Saints will demand a much higher fee for Pelle, who has added to his international reputation during Euro 2016 with his goals against Belgium and Spain.
Reports in Italy claim Pelle has been offered £33million by the Chinese club – a sum equivalent to weekly wages of £250,000.