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By ESPN Staff

Crespo proud to be back at Internazionale

ROME, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Argentina striker Hernan Crespo said on Monday he was proud to be back at Inter Milan, hours after the Italian club announced it had signed a loan deal with Chelsea to bring him back to the San Siro.

Crespo, who spent the 2002-03 season at Inter before joining Chelsea for £16.8 million, has signed a two-year contract, the clubs said on their official Web sites.

'For me it is a matter of pride to be back at Inter,' Crespo said as he was officially presented at the club's HQ in Milan.

'I had left here crying and now I am back smiling. I thank Chelsea, the chairman and the coach, because they understood my needs and they were accommodating,' he said.

No money changed hands in the deal, which will take him to the end of his Chelsea contract, but the English champions have retained an option to take Crespo back after one season.

Although one of the game's top strikers, Crespo failed to settle in London and was loaned out by Chelsea in 2004-05 to Inter's city rivals AC Milan - helping them reach a Champions League final against Liverpool in which he scored twice.

The 31-year-old had a better time last term with the west London club, helping them secure a second consecutive Premier League title before playing for Argentina at the World Cup.

However, he would have faced tougher competition for a starting place this season at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea signed Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko from AC Milan.

In his two spells at the London club Crespo has played 73 games, starting 47, and scored 25 goals.