Monday, 28 January 2008

[Mercato] Mellberg to follow Stendardo to Juve

Juventus will sign Sweden defender Olof Mellberg this summer and have also brought in Guglielmo Stendardo from Lazio until the end of the season.

Mellberg will join the Bianconeri on a free transfer from Aston Villa once his contract with the Premier League club expires.

The 30-year-old, who has been at Villa Park for seven seasons, has agreed a deal until 2011.

"I'm delighted because Italy will be a huge experience in my career," he said. "I will play for a prestigious club, in one of the strongest leagues in the world. I want to end the season with Villa in the best possible way, but I'm really looking forward to Juventus and giving my best there."

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri said of the move for the former Racing Santander player: "I've been following Mellberg since I was at Chelsea. He can play at centre-back or right-back, as he is doing now. He is physically strong yet also very quick. He can be a great help for us in terms of quality and international experience."

Stendardo, a 26-year-old centre-half who made 13 Serie A appearances and five in the Champions League for Lazio this term, arrives on loan in Turin for the remainder of the campaign.

He has been a Lazio player since coming from Perugia in 2005, having previously been with Napoli, Sampdoria, Salernitana and Catania.

The Bianconeri have a defensive injury crisis with Jorge Andrade and Giorgio Chiellini both injured while they surprisingly loaned young defender Domenico Criscito to Genoa and sold out-of-form centre back Jean-Alain Boumsong to Lyon.

Juve are also thought to be close to completing the capture of Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko.

The Malian international jetted to Italy for a medical on Sunday and is set to sign before heading back to the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Source: UEFA / Reuters

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