By Alex Taylor
Papiss Cisse has left Newcastle to join Shandong Luneng in the Chinese Super League.
The Magpies striker has endured a wretched season for the relegated club in which he managed just three goals in 21 Premier League appearances.
Cisse, who cost the Magpies £9million in 2010, would be on the high end of Newcastle’s earners and has now signed a four-and-a-half year deal with his new club for an undisclosed fee.
The 31-year-old has been deemed surplus to requirements at Newcastle after over 130 appearances for the club and 44 goals.
A statement on the Newcastle website said: “Everyone at St. James’ Park wishes Papiss all the best for the next stage of his career.”
The Tyneside club also tweeted the news, saying: “BREAKING: Papiss Cissé joins Chinese club Shandong Luneng”
BREAKING: Papiss Cissé joins Chinese club Shandong Luneng
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 9, 2016
The Senegalese international has been the subject of long-term interest from the Chinese Super League, whose clubs have made a name for themselves in recent months by paying huge sums of money for players across Europe, who are perhaps just past their peak.
Cisse could certainly fall into that category with just three goals in the past 12 months in a Newcastle shirt.
Newcastle are eager to trim their wage bill as they prepare for life in the Championship after already welcoming Dwight Gayle, Jesus Gamez, Matt Ritchie and Matz Sels this summer.
In other Newcastle news, Rafa Benitez’s side have made an offer to Arsenal’s versatile squad player Isaac Hayden.