Five key Serie A transfers 2014/15
Despite the departure of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan to Liverpool, Serie A clubs brought in a number of world class players for the upcoming 2014-15 campaign. AFP Sport takes a look at five key summer transfers:
- Real Madrid to Juventus; 20 million euros (�15.9m/$27m)
Spanish under-21 striker Alvaro Morato was a regular in Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid side that won the Champions League last season and scored 11 goals in 52 matches for the Spanish giants between 2010 and 2014. The talented marksman helped Spain's under-21 side win the 2013 European Championship and has bagged 13 goals in 12 games at that level after coming up through the Real youth system.
- Verona to Roma; 22 million euros
The Argentine under-20 international has already drawn comparisons with his compatriot Lionel Messi as a gifted, diminutive goal-scoring striker. Spent last season on loan at Verona from River Plate, where he scored eight goals before the club bought him outright in May 2014. Just two months later, he was sold to Roma who can offer him Champions League football for the upcoming campaign. Spent most of his life in Paraguay but declared his international future to Argentina.
- Chelsea to Roma; free
Widely regarded as the best left back in the world when in his prime, the 33-year-old Londoner found himself out of favour with returning Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the 2013-14 campaign and replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta, usually a right back. Started only 15 games last season but now joining an ambitious Roma side, coached by Frenchman Rudi Garcia, that finished second in Serie A and guaranteed Champions League competition this season. He won the 2012 Champions League, the 2013 Europa League, the 2010 Premier League, four FA Cups and the 2007 League Cup with Chelsea which followed two further Premier League titles and three more FA Cups with Arsenal.
- Cardiff to Inter Milan; 12.5 million euros
The 27-year-old Chilean international makes the trip from Cardiff City Stadium to the historic San Siro after earning a move following an impressive World Cup. The Santiago-born, defensive midfielder also had spells with Boca Juniors and Sevilla but was never likely to stay once Cardiff were relegated from the Premier League and his World Cup performances made him a marketable entity. Has scored five goals in 61 appearances for Chile and was also part of the 2010 World Cup squad.
- Manchester United to Inter Milan; free
The Serbian centre-back was a mainstay in the Manchester United back four between 2006 and 2014 and won the Champions League in 2008 as well as five Premier League titles under retired manager Alex Ferguson. Twice voted Premier League player of the season in 2009 and 2011 and made 56 appearances for Serbia before announcing his international retirement in 2011 following criticism from fans over his performances. However increasing unfitness especially problems with his knees renders Vidic, who turns 33 in October, a gamble by Inter.