MILAN – Inter Milan signed Colombia midfielder Fredy Guarin and Sampdoria’s Angelo Palombo on the last day of the winter transfer market on Tuesday but sold key midfielder Thiago Motta to big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, while Sulley Muntari moved on loan to AC Milan.
Clubs, players and agents gathered at a somewhat chaotic ATA Hotel in Milan, where the league held the last two days of the transfer market, and rushed to get deals done in time for the 7 p.m. deadline local time (1800 GMT).
However, 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.
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, initially 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.
No financial details were given for the Motta deal, but reports in France and Italy estimated the transfer at €10 million ($14.3 million).
Guarin, who has 36 caps for Colombia, has won nine trophies with Porto, including two league titles and last season’s Europa League.
Inter also has the option to make Palombo’s move permanent after the midfielder brought an end to a spell of almost 10 years at Samp.
“Inter is a huge squad, it’s a huge occasion for me,” Palombo said.
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.”
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.
Siena, which failed to sign Milan veteran Filippo Inzaghi despite offering the 38-year-old a contract until 2013, re-signed Erjon Bogdani from Cesena. Bogdani left for Chievo Verona in 2007.
Inzaghi has made almost 300 appearances in 11 years at Milan but has barely played since returning from a serious injury which kept him out for most of last season.
“I was caught between wanting to play football and my love for this club which has given me so much,” Inzaghi said. “I couldn’t think of my story with Milan ending in a couple of hours without being able to say goodbye to San Siro.
“My teammates, the fans and the club all came into my decision.”
Other notable moves saw Genoa defender Dario Dainelli move on loan to Chievo, while Catania has signed goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo from Lazio, with a view to a permanent move in the summer.