Muntari swaps Inter for Milan on loan
MILAN (AP) -- AC Milan signed Sulley Muntari on loan from Inter Milan, which completed a deal for Colombia midfielder Fredy Guarin on the last day of the winter transfer market on Tuesday.
As clubs, players and agents gathered at a somewhat chaotic ATA Hotel in Milan, where the Lega is holding the last two days of the transfer market, the most surprising deal of the window involved a player not even in the country.
Muntari is currently on duty at the African Nations Cup and he will link up with his new teammates at the end of Ghana's involvement.
Muntari, who will remain at Milan until the end of the season when he becomes a free agent, will provide much needed midfield cover for the Rossoneri after Alexander Merkel joined Mathieu Flamini, Gennaro Gattuso and Alberto Aquilani on the sidelines.
Inter signed Muntari from Portsmouth in 2008 in a deal worth ?14 million and while he initially impressed, scoring the winner in his first derby match against Milan, he has slowly slipped down the pecking order.
Muntari spent last season on loan at Sunderland but failed to earn a permanent deal.
Milan also completed the signing of teenage striker Philipp Prosenik from Chelsea.
Milan, along with Juventus and Bayern Munich, tried to sign Prosenik in 2009, but the young Austrian opted to join Chelsea's academy.
Prosenik started well in England but has had lengthy spells on the sidelines because of serious injuries. The 18-year-old striker is the son of former Austria midfielder Christian Prosenik.
Guarin moves to Inter from Porto, intitially on a loan deal, but the Serie A giant can make the move permanent in the summer and the player has already signed a contract until 2016.
"I think he will give us a huge helping hand,'' Inter coach Claudio Ranieri said.
Guarin, who has 36 caps for Colombia, has won nine trophies with Porto including two league titles and last season's Europa League.
Elsewhere, World Cup winner Vincenzo Iaquinta moved to Serie A struggler Cesena on loan from Juventus, which signed Atalanta midfielder Simone Padoin on the last day of the winter transfer market on Tuesday.
Iaquinta joined Juventus from Udinese in an ?11 million ($14.5 million) deal in 2007 but has struggled with injuries over the past two years and has not played since last March.
"I'm happy, now I have to prove myself again,'' the 32-year-old Iaquinta said. "I can't wait to start, I want to relaunch myself. I've had a lot of injuries in my career, I've been unlucky.
"I want to thank all at Juventus, especially the fans, as they always treated me like a great footballer. I have no regrets.''
Iaquinta won the World Cup with Italy in 2006.
Midfielder Michele Pazienza also left Juventus. The 29-year-old Pazienza returned on loan to Udinese, the club he last played for seven years ago.
Padoin completed his move to Turin, signing a five-year deal with the Serie A leaders. Juventus has paid almost ?5 million ($6.6 million) for the 27-year-old midfielder.
Meanwhile, Bologna has signed France under-19 international Ishak Belfodil from Lyon until the end of the season and Valeri Bojinov has returned to Lecce on loan from Sporting.
Bojinov started his career at Lecce - making his Serie A debut at 15 - before moving to Fiorentina in 2005.
The 25-year-old Bulgarian had been suspended by the Portuguese club following his actions in a cup game against lower-league Moreirense.
With the game at 1-1 in injury time, Sporting was awarded a penalty and Bojinov - who had not scored a spot kick in nearly six years - pushed aside usual penalty-taker Matias Fernandez and placed the ball on the spot. Sporting fans booed and Bojinov's effort was saved.
The Italian transfer window closes at 7 p.m. local time (1800 GMT).