Wed, Aug 09, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Hernan Crespo leaves Chelsea for Inter Milan

AP , MILAN, ITALY

Argentina striker Hernan Crespo signed for former club Inter Milan on Monday, leaving English champion Chelsea.

"I'm very happy to be back," Crespo said. "I love Italian soccer and the Italian country. Returning to Inter is a personal choice, a return home."

The 31-year-old forward signed a two year-deal on a free transfer, although Chelsea reserved the right to recall the player at the end of the first season.

Crespo played for Inter in 2002-2003 before transferring to Stamford Bridge in a £16.8 million (US$26.20 million) deal in August 2003.

Crosstown rival AC Milan -- where Crespo spent last season on loan -- also tried to sign the striker, but the Argentine chose Inter.

"The efforts that Inter made to sign me, truthfully, were greater than those of Milan," Crespo said. "I'd like to thank president [Massimo] Moratti, the other directors, and above all [coach Roberto] Mancini. I'm very happy for how much belief they have placed in me."

Chelsea had said that it would not sell Crespo -- under contract for another two years -- unless it received a suitable offer, despite the striker's stated desire to return to Italy. Crespo spurned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's offer of an improved contract to stay with the London club last month.

"I wanted to come back," said Crespo, who has a house outside of Milan. "I've lived in this country for a long time."

This story has been viewed 2508 times.
TOP top