Juventus sell Ibrahimovic to Inter Milan

August 10, 2006

MILAN, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the latest big name to desert Juventus when he moved to Italian rivals Inter Milan for 24.8 million euros ($31.95 million) on Thursday.

The Sweden striker signed a four year contract, Inter said on their Web site after completing the most expensive incoming deal in Italy of the close-season.

Juventus have sold several leading players after being demoted to Serie B last month for their role in Italian soccer's match-fixing scandal.

Ibrahimovic follows Patrick Vieira from Juve to Inter after the France midfielder moved last week - a few days after coach Didier Deschamps said no more players would be leaving.

The disgraced former champions had already sold Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, Brazilian midfielder Emerson, and defenders Gianluca Zambrotta and Lilian Thuram.

Bought by coach Fabio Capello in 2004, Ibrahimovic gallantly filled the shoes of the injured David Trezeguet and went on to steer Juve to the Serie A title as the club's top scorer.

Last season, however, looking slow and uninspired, the Malmo-born player managed only a handful of goals in Serie A and was similarly uninspired for Sweden in the World Cup.

Juventus shares plunged in early trade and were briefly suspended limit down. The stock was trading down four percent at 1.86 euros at 0925 GMT, the third-worst performer on Italy's stock exchange.