Socceroo Aaron Mooy has made a shock exit from Brighton in a move to China on the eve of the new Premier League season.
The midfielder previously played for Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City before heading over to England to play for Huddersfield.
Mooy joined Brighton last year after a loan stint from Huddersfield and made a massive impact in midfield for the Seagulls, teaming up with fellow Socceroo Mat Ryan.
After 30 appearances for the Seagulls, Mooy had established himself in the starting XI.
The 29-year old leaves Brighton in a move to Shanghai SIPG worth a reported $18 million.
Brighton made the announcement via social media.
✍️ @AaronMooy has today completed a permanent move to Shanghai SIPG FC.
👊 Thanks for your efforts for the Albion, Aaron!#BHAFC 🔵⚪️
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) August 28, 2020
“Aaron has been an excellent professional during his time with us. From day one with us he fitted in really well,” said Brighton coach Graham Potter.
”It’s a good move for all parties. We have a number of really good players in that position and therefore Aaron goes with our blessing.
“I have really enjoyed working with him, and on behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him well for the future,” Potter said.
Shanghai is currently at the top of the table heading into a revamped Chinese Super League season.
Due to the coronavirus shutdown, the League has been split into two divisions.
Cameron Wilson, a UK-born Chinese Super League expert, told FTBL: “If I were Aaron Mooy, I’d prepare for a long period of adjustment”
“In China, it’s a different system in general, where football often isn’t the deciding factor in a lot of decisions
“I think Mooy is joining Shanghai SIPG at a good time,”