MILAN - Juventus signed Fiorentina's Brazil midfielder Felipe Melo on Wednesday after beating off competition from Arsenal. Juventus have paid 20.5 million euros plus winger Marco Marchionni for the 26-year-old, the Turin club said in a statement, adding that he has penned a five-year contract. "I believe a lot in this side. It has been reinforced and can rival any team as we target all the trophies in Italy and Europe," Melo told the Juventus channel. He recently signed a contract extension with Fiorentina but a 25-million euro escape clause was inserted which Juve have triggered with the cash and player deal. The Florence club, who only signed the combative midfielder from Spain's Almeria last year, had previously said that Arsenal were best-placed to buy him if the London side's fullback Emmanuel Eboue was included in the transfer. Melo suffered disciplinary problems in Fiorentina's run to fourth spot in Serie A last season but he has established himself as a Brazil regular and played in their victorious Confederations Cup campaign. His signing comes after Juve, last season's Serie A runners-up, failed to agree a fee with Udinese for Italy midfielder Gaetano D'Agostino. Ciro Ferrara's side had already bought Werder Bremen's Brazilian playmaker Diego and re-signed defender Fabio Cannavaro from Real Madrid in a bid to further challenge champions Inter Milan this season.
15 July 2009
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