Alberto Gilardino to seal move to Palermo from Guangzhou Evergrande

Former Italy international Alberto Gilardino is set to join Palermo from Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande on Friday, ending a summer of speculation about his future.

Palermo said on their official website that the 33-year-old had chosen to join them, with a statement reading: "Palermo announces with great satisfaction that we have signed Alberto Gilardino.

"The Rosaneri are delighted to welcome one of the most successful players of our football, a world champion with the Italy national team in Germany in 2006 and with AC Milan in 2007.

"[He is] a pure talent, scorer of 178 goals in Serie A and 18 in European cup competitions. The forward, born in Biella, will be presented at the start of next week."

Gilardino's former club Fiorentina had also been linked with him, but he is likely to have more first-team opportunities in Sicily.

"Everybody knows Gilardino's story," Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini told Radioblu.

"I hope that he does at Palermo what [Luca] Toni is doing at Verona. Trust me, I've known Gilardino since he was just 18 years old. He's not past it."