x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Elia secures move to Juventus

The Dutch winger is among several players to find new employers in European football ahead of transfer deadline.

Juventus acquired Eljero Elia, the Holland international winger, from Hamburg and Inter Milan signed the Argentine forward, Mauro Zarate, from Lazio as the transfer market closed in Italy on Wednesday.

Juventus paid €9 million (Dh47.67m) for Elia, with the 24 year old agreeing a four-year contract; while Inter paid €2.7m for Zarate on loan, and agreed to pay a further €15m for his full rights, according to the ANSA news agency.

Juventus, who have revamped their entire squad for the second consecutive season, were also said to be negotiating a loan deal for the versatile defender Salvatore Bocchetti from Rubin Kazan.

Other players Juventus have signed this summer include Mirko Vucinic, the striker, midfielders Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Emanuele Giaccherini, and full-backs Reto Ziegler and Stephan Lichtsteiner.

The 27-time Italian champions from Turin failed to qualify for Europe with a seventh-place finish last season and are determined to improve this campaign.

While AC Milan said their final addition was midfielder Alberto Aquilani from Liverpool last week, the Serie A champions announced they were loaning defender Massimo Oddo to Lecce.

Inter Milan had already completed a deal with Atletico Madrid for Diego Forlan, but added Zarate to further bolster their attack after the departure of Samuel Eto'o to the Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.

Roma, who lost a Europa League play-off last week to Slovan Bratislava, were one of the most active clubs on the final day, securing deals for three players.

Fernando Gago, the Argentina midfielder who has been cast aside by the Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, was signed on a season-long loan to compliment the earlier signings of Miralem Pjanic, the Bosnia-Herzegovina midfielder, and the Denmark defender Simon Kjaer.

The capital club reportedly paid Lyon €11m for Pjanic, while Kjaer joined on loan from Wolfsburg. In other moves, Lazio loaned midfielder Pasquale Foggia to Sampdoria, who were relegated to Serie B last season; and Michael Bradley will fly the flag for the United States as his country's sole representative in Serie A after the midfielder signed with Chievo Verona.

Barcelona, meanwhile, loaned Alexander Hleb, the Belarus midfielder, to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.

Heading out of Wolfsburg was the Brazil international Diego, with the playmaker heading Spain on a season-long loan deal with Atletico Madrid, the German club have announced on their website.

The 26 year old goes with the blessing of his Wolfsburg coach, Felix Magath, who said on his club's website: "I'm convinced that Diego will play a key role in Madrid. I wish him all the best."

Josep Maria Bartomeu, the vice-president of football operations at Camp Nou said the cost of the operation will come down to the number of games played by the 30-year-old Hleb, who is under contract with the Spanish champions until 2012.

In Portugal, Sporting Lisbon broke their club record fee to sign Elias, the Brazil midfielder, from Atletico Madrid for €8.85m in a bid to improve their miserable start under new coach Domingos Paciencia, having drawn two and lost one of their first three league matches.

The midfielder signed a five-year contract that includes a €40m release clause, taking Sporting's outlay on players this summer to €28.75m.