Football: Inter Milan capture Melo, Ljajic in late deals

Football: Inter Milan capture Melo, Ljajic in late deals

MILAN: Inter Milan have bolstered their new-look midfield by capturing Brazilian veteran Felipe Melo and Serbian Adem Ljajic from Galatasaray and Roma respectively, the Serie A club announced on Monday (Aug 31).

“FC Internazionale announces the club has agreed with Galatasaray over the definitive transfer of Felipe Melo,” Inter said in a brief statement.

Reports in Italy claimed Melo, who played for Brazil in the 2010 World Cup but has not played since as he bore the brunt of the blame for their exit at the hands of the Dutch in the quarter-finals when he was sent off, signed the contract in Turkey and it was then emailed to Inter, who deposited it before the 2200 GMT (6am Tuesday, Singapore time) transfer deadline.

No financial details were revealed but reports claim 32-year-old Melo cost Inter €3.5 million (US$3.9m).

Earlier the club had announced the arrival of out-of-favour Roma forward Ljajic on a season-long loan deal, reportedly for €2 million with an option to buy outright set at an additional €9m in 2016.

Ljajic joined Roma on a four-year deal worth €11m two seasons ago from Fiorentina but has arguably moved down the squad pecking order following the arrival of Mohamed Salah, Iago Falque and Edin Dzeko.

Melo and Ljajic, 23, are the latest additions to a new-look Inter midfield coach Roberto Mancini is assembling following the departure of Mateo Kovacic and Hernanes.

Creative midfielder Kovacic moved to Real Madrid earlier this summer and Brazilian attacking midfielder Hernanes was set to sign for Juventus after agreeing terms on Monday.

As well as Melo and Ljajic, Inter have signed French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, Croatian winger Ivan Perisic, defenders Jeison Murillo and Miranda, striker Stevan Jovetic and Martin Montoya.

Inter sit third in Serie A, behind Torino and leaders Chievo, after back-to-back wins.