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 By Ben Gladwell

Sampdoria announce signing of Niklas Moisander from Ajax

Niklas Moisander keeps tabs on Lionel Messi in a Champions League tie.

Sampdoria have agreed the signing of Finland captain Niklas Moisander from Ajax as of July 1.

The Serie A club made the announcement via their official website, showing a picture of the 29-year-old defender penning his contract next to Blucerchiati president Massimo Ferrero.

"Niklas Moisander will be a Blucerchiato player starting from next season," read the statement. "U.C Sampdoria and president Massimo Ferrero are indeed delighted to announced that a three-year contract has been signed with the Finnish defender, who will join from A.F.C. Ajax on June 30, 2015.

"While wishing him the very best of luck up to the end of the season with Ajax and with Finland [who will play Northern Ireland on Sunday in a Euro 2016 qualifier], we are looking forward to welcoming him to Genoa soon, ready and motivated for this new, fascinating adventure with the most beautiful colours in the world."

Moisander has so far won three Dutch Eredivisie titles, the first with AZ Alkmaar in 2009 and the subsequent two since joining Ajax in 2012.

Sampdoria claim he had been attracting interest from "many of Europe's top clubs" but that "he chose Sampdoria and our project."

With 10 games of the season remaining, Samp are currently fourth in Serie A and on course for a place in Europe next season. Should this season's Coppa Italia winners finish inside the top five, that would ensure sixth place would also be enough for a place in the Europa League.

Samp's advantage over seventh-placed Torino is nine points, although their inferior head-to-head record with the Turin club would mean they would finish behind them if they finish on the same number of points.

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