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Genoa, Milan agree Antonini, Birsa swap deal

Genoa have announced the signing of Milan full-back Luca Antonini in a swap deal that will see winger Valter Birsa move the other way.

Antonini had been mooted as a possible target for Premier League side Sunderland, but has now decided to join Genoa on a three-year deal.

He made over 100 appearances for Milan, scoring just one goal, since beginning his career at San Siro in 2000.

The 31-year old was loaned out to a series of clubs during his time with the Serie A outfit, including Sampdoria, Modena and Siena.

He became a particular favourite with coach Massimiliano Allegri, who installed him as first choice left-back for the 2010-11 season, where he helped his side to their 18th league title.

In an emotional tweet, he told fans: “After 23 years in Rossonero, today I salute the team I support. The time has come for me to go. Goodbye my Milan, I gave my heart for you. Thank you for everything.”

Birsa, 27, will go in the opposite direction as part of the deal, and like Antonini has signed a three-year deal at his new club.

The Slovenian leaves having made 12 appearances for Genoa in all competitions, scoring two goals.

Sat 31 Aug, 2013
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