AC Milan, Juventus, revamp ranks to challenge for titles
Italian giants Juventus and AC Milan have revamped their ranks with both teams buying players before the close of the transfer deadline in order to perform better this seasonsports Updated: Sep 01, 2010 16:59 IST
AC Milan snapped up Manchester City's Brazilian forward Robinho on transfer deadline day on Tuesday, the latest piece in a jigsaw which the Rossoneri hope will bring them the Serie A title.
"The player has signed a four-year contract," Milan said in a statement without giving details on the permanent transfer rumored to be between $14 and 18 million.
Milan's capture of Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona last week has prompted Marco Borriello, who started upfront in Sunday's 4-0 opening game win over Lecce, to move to AS Roma in a loan deal which was only just concluded before the deadline. The club issued a statement regarding his move.
Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar also made a move to German team Schalke04 allowing milan to shore up its striking options. Milan had been quiet at the start of the transfer window but some limp pre-season displays persuaded owner Silvio Berlusconi to drop his frugal spending policy and bring in former Inter Milan forward Ibrahimovic on an initial loan and sign Robinho.
The 26-year-old Robinho joined Manchester City from Real Madrid in 2008 in a record breaking $32.5 million deal but never really settled in the Premier League and spent the second half of last season on loan at former brazilian club Santos. "I want to make history with this club. I will give so much happiness to my fans," Robinho told Milan's official website.
The tricky player will have to fight to secure a first team place with new Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri saying he expects to play a forward trident of Ibrahimovic with Brazilians Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato. While Robinho has been bought as a deputy for Ronaldinho and Pato but Borriello and Huntelaar's exits mean only 37-year-old Filippo Inzaghi remains as a spare targetman in case of injury or suspension to Ibrahimovic.
Milan have not won Serie A since 2004 and have watched Inter win the last five titles and last term's Champions League. However, Italian pundits believe their late double-dip into the transfer market makes them clear favourites to be Inter's major rivals this term having finished a lacklustre third behind AS Roma last season.
Similarly, italian giants Juventus, who had a dismal season last year and have already refreshed their squad with 8 new players continued their massive recruitment drive by taking Arsenal's French left back Armand Traore and Napoli defender Leandro Rinaudo on season-long loans on transfer deadline day on Tuesday.
"Freshness, physical strength and technique in abundance: the left side of Juventus has been enriched with quality thanks to the arrival of Armand Traore from Arsenal," a Juve statement said about the 20-year-old. A second statement announced 27-year-old Rinaudo's arrival.
Twice European champions Juve have now brought in 10 players during the transfer window as they look to recover from last term's dismal seventh-place finish in Serie A, although efforts to offload left back Fabio Grosso look to have been unsuccessful.
French defender Jonathan Zebina moved to Bresciar on Tuesday and Mauro Camoranesi joined VfB Stuttgart.
Juve's new-look squad negotiated the Europa League qualifiers to make the competition proper but lost 1-0 at Bari in their opening Serie A game on Sunday.