Marek Hamsik has written a heartfelt open letter to Napoli fans after completing a transfer to Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang this week.​

Hamsik joined Napoli from Brescia in 2007 and went on to break the club's records for most goals and most appearances, scoring 121 times in 520 outings for the Partenopei.

​Napoli won the Coppa Italia twice, the first of which in 2012 was their first trophy in over two decades, and Hamsik said this was a memory which would live with him forever.

"I have to apologise to all you Azzurri fans," began Hamsik on ​Instagram. "I wanted, hoped and dreamed of saying goodbye to you. A big lap around the field, embraced by your applause.

"You’ve always supported and loved me unconditionally, in both beautiful and difficult moments: for this I’ll always be grateful.

"I’ve tattooed Napoli on my skin, as well as our first victory in the Coppa Italia after 25 years. It’s impossible to forget that game."

"It’s impossible to forget that moment when I beat [Giuseppe] Bruscolotti’s record or when I broke the Azzurri’s goal record, set by the god of football himself, Diego Armando Maradona.

"As soon as it’s possible, I hope you’ll grant me one last lap around the field at the San Paolo, to dedicate to you the send-off you deserve. I love you all and I’ll love this city forever."

Hamsik is the latest high-profile player to complete a big-money move to China, joining former Atletico Madrid stars Yannick Carrasco and Nicolas Gaitan at Dalian Yifang.

The 2019 Chinese Super League season begins in March.