Juve land Candreva on loan

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MILAN - Faltering Juventus signed Italy midfielder Antonio Candreva on loan on Wednesday to boost their dwindling midfield options.

The 22-year-old, who has spent the last season and a half on loan at Livorno from Udinese, goes straight into the squad for Saturday's home game with AS Roma.

"Juventus and Udinese have reached a deal for the loan transfer of Antonio Candreva for the rest of the season as well as the right to buy half his registration," a Juve statement said.

Candreva, equally at home behind the front two or in central midfield, impressed so much at Serie A strugglers Livorno that Italy coach Marcello Lippi handed him a starting debut in the 0-0 friendly draw with the Netherlands in November.

His chances of making the World Cup squad could well be increased if he becomes a regular at Juve, who are light in midfield because of Tiago's loan departure to Atletico Madrid and an injury to Christian Poulsen.

The Turin club have dropped to fifth in Serie A after four league defeats in five matches, partly due to the poor midfield performances from close season signings Felipe Melo and Diego.

Apart from striker Vincenzo Iaquinta and midfielder Mohamed Sissoko, all of Juve's signings since their return to the top flight in 2007 have struggled.