El Shaarawy disappointed to leave Milan

Italy forward Stephan El Shaarawy wrote a farewell letter to Milan's supporters after he completed his move to Monaco.

Monaco signing Stephan El Shaarawy expressed his disappointment after leaving Milan, but the Italy international is relishing the challenge abroad.

El Shaarawy joined Monaco on a season-long loan deal on Monday, while the Ligue 1 outfit have the option to make the move permanent.

The 22-year-old's switch to the Stade Louis II sees him depart Milan after four years and 27 goals in all competitions following his transfer from Genoa in 2011.

El Shaarawy went on social media to farewell and thank Milan fans for their support, having been limited to just 24 Serie A appearances in the past two campaigns due to injuries.

"At this moment it really is difficult for me to find the words to describe my state of mind," he wrote on Instagram.

"It all happened very quickly and in 24 hours I found myself having to make a decision that I am certain can be the best for me and for my career.

"I don't need to underline how disappointed I am to leave a club like Milan and its fans. Other than the fact I've been tied to these colours since I was little, it's difficult to leave a club that has always supported and had confidence in me, even in the worst moments.

"However, I think the moment has come for me to change direction and take on a new professional challenge with grit and the utmost enthusiasm.

"I'm sorry, too, that I was unable to give my total contribution due to injuries over the last two seasons… but I always honoured and respected this jersey, from the first day to the last.

"These four years have given me so much, helped me to grow, enriched me as a player and a man.

"I thank Milan, all the members of staff and all my teammates over these seasons. We had many victories, as many defeats, but always alongside great people. I will hold on to every teaching and every piece of advice I was given.

"And finally I must thank you, the fans, last but not least… in fact, unique and special… Thank you for the affection you've always shown in every occasion, above all in the negative periods.

"And thank you for the wonderful words and message that even today, despite the fact I have changed shirt, you continue to send me. I will carry them in my heart forever.

"Truly thank you to everyone. Au revoir."