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AZ Alkmaar signs Italian striker Graziano Pelle to five-year contract

AZ Alkmaar signed Graziano Pelle from Lecce to five-year contract on Tuesday.

NOS news reported that Alkmaar paid Lecce EUR 6 million (US$8.2 million) for the 22-year-old striker, who plays on Italy's Olympic soccer team.

Leading scorer Shota Arveladze recently moved to Levante in Spain, and Alkmaar coach Louis van Gaal had been searching for a replacement with the club also playing in the UEFA Cup this season.

Alkmaar finished third in the Dutch league last season despite leading the standings with one round remaining. It also lost the Dutch Cup final to Ajax on penalty kicks.