Roma sign Giuly

Ludovic Giuly has completed his move from Barcelona to AS Roma. Barca accepted an offer of between 3.2 and 4.4 million euros over the weekend and Giuly travelled to Italy on Monday to finalise the transfer. He passed a medical and agreed terms on a three-year deal. Giuly had been linked with a return to former club Monaco, as well as several other top European clubs, but opted for Roma.

Giuly started his career with Lyon before joining AS Monaco in 1998. He left Monaco to join Catalan giants Barcelona after the Monaco were beaten by FC Porto in the 2004 Champions League final. Giuly finally got a Champions League winner’s medal two years later, when Barca beat Arsenal in the 2006 final. Giuly has had a hard time cracking the first eleven at Barca, which caused him to not be selected for the France squad for last year’s World Cup final in Germany. He had a second inconsistent season with Barca in La Liga last year and has fallen down the pecking order with the emergence of Lionel Messi.

Roma, last season’s Serie A runners-up, have also brought in Brazilian central defender Juan from German club Bayer Leverkusen for a fee of 6.3 million euros ($8.44 million) and have signed the player to a four-year contract. As part of the deal, Roma will visit Leverkusen for a pre-season friendly on July 29.

The move for Juan had been a signal to many that Romanian defender Cristian Chivu would be moved to either Real Madrid, Barcelona or Serie A rivals Inter Milan. Real’s move for FC Porto’s Pepe signaled the end of their interest. Barcelona acquired Gabriel Milito from Real Zaragoza when a deal for Chivu stalled over the player’s wage demands.

Inter are also keeping their distance and do not want to upset Roma by bidding for the player. Chivu is reported to be ready to axe his agent as a result of the failure to find him a new club. It will be interesting to see what will happen if he remains at the club for the coming season.

Roma have also brought in Ghanaian central midfielder Ahmed Barusso from Serie B Rimini. Barusso has drawn comparisons to Chelsea’s Michael Essien, with his ability to disrupt attacks and his deadly shot from long distance. He scored 10 goals in 32 appearances for Rimini.

Further bolstering their squad, Roma wrapped up permanent transfers for three players that were on loan at the club last season. Striker Mirko Vucinic and Marco Cassetti move to Roma permanently from Lecce for a total of 9 million euros. They also reached an agreement with Inter Milan to take full control of David Pizarro’s registration. The two clubs had been haggling over the issue for a while but eventually a deal was done. Inter had wanted Christian Chivu as part of the deal for Pizarro but Roma were insistent on keeping the two deals separate.

In another move of note, veteran striker Vincenzo Montella was sold to Sampdoria after 8 seasons with Roma. Montella spent the second half of last season on loan at English Premier League club Fulham.

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