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Zaccardo excited by Milan challenge

New AC Milan signing Cristian Zaccardo is honoured to have joined the club after moving from Parma as part of a swap deal that will see Djamel Mesbah and Rodney Strasser head in the opposite direction.

Cristian Zaccardo has won 17 caps for Italy
Cristian Zaccardo has won 17 caps for Italy

Zaccardo, a member of the Italy squad which lifted the 2006 World Cup, has signed a four-and-a-half year contract with the Rossoneri.

And the former Palermo man, who cannot wait to get the new chapter of his career underway, believes his versatility and experience should help him in trying to force his way into the Milan starting line-up.

“I am very happy and it is an honour to be at such an important club,” Zaccardo told Milan Channel. “I will give everything to provide my contribution and am so proud of the fact Milan were interested in me.

“The negotiations began two weeks ago with a chat and have now become reality, as here I am. You know I can play in central defence or on either flank. I’m here at the age of 31, after many Serie A games, and already know a few of my new team-mates.”

Meanwhile, Mesbah - currently on African Nations Cup duty with Algeria - has signed for the Tardini side in exchange, while the two clubs are still finalising the details of a loan deal for Sierra Leone international Strasser.

“We are finalising the exchange,” Parma general manager Pietro Leonardi said. “The negotiations for Strasser are at an advanced stage and I think we can try to close the deal, although there are still some things to talk about.”

Zaccardo’s arrival at Milan has fuelled reports that the club are now willing to accept a €10 million bid for Ignazio Abate from Zenit St Petersburg, which in turn will see them intensify efforts to bring either Kaka or Mario Balotelli to the club.

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