Adel Taarabt seals AC Milan loan move
AC Milan have announced that they have completed the signing of Adel Taarabt on a loan deal until the end of the season from QPR.
The midfielder, who was on loan at Fulham from parent club QPR, could make the move permanent in the summer, with a seven million euro transfer fee being reported.
Taarabt landed at Milan's Linate airport on Thursday morning, and later told Milan Channel: "I'm honoured to be able to play for the best club in the world. I spoke with Clarence Seedorf, and we're both happy. I'm an attacker and I like to play behind the strikers. I don’t know [Mario] Balotelli personally, but I know who he is and it's pleasing to be able to play with him. I hope to make my compatriots proud, because I'm the first Moroccan to play in Milan."
The Moroccan passed a medical on Thursday and officially became a Rossoneri player on Friday, making himself available to coach Clarence Seedorf for their clash with Torino at the San Siro on Saturday night.
"He's very talented and he seemed to be very enthusiastic about coming here," said Seedorf at a news conference on Friday.
Taarabt is Milan's fourth new arrival this winter after Adil Rami, Keisuke Honda and Michael Essien and is understood to have been one of the primary transfer targets for Seedorf, with the move backed by former QPR co-owner Flavio Briatore, who has recommended him to Milan general manager Adriano Galliani.
"I know him well," Briatore told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He was the one who led my QPR towards the Premier League. He's phenomenal. Milan have made a great signing, but he's a talented player who needs looking after.
"He's a lad who needs protection, he needs affection. I was the one who bought him from Tottenham. I'm sure he'll find his feet in Italian football. He has no preference between his left or his right foot and he's strong from set-pieces."
The move for Taarabt has raised a few eyebrows in Italy, with many having expected a bigger, more established name to arrive.
But Briatore said: "I only had positive things to say about him. When he was still with QPR, he told me he wanted a change of scenery and that he wanted to leave England because it was a bit gloomy. I negotiated with Marseille, but he ended up at Fulham. Well, now he's in Milan he's not going to see much sunshine there."
Cristian Zaccardo, who had initially been expected to move to Fulham as part of the deal, now looks likely to return to his former club Parma, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.