Maccarone returns to Italy with Siena

January 30, 2007

ROME, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Siena have signed striker Massimo Maccarone from Premiership club Middlesbrough on a free transfer, the Serie A club said on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year deal.

The move represents a return to familiar territory for Maccarone, who spent four months on loan at Siena during the 2004-05 season.

Maccarone made his name in Italy's Serie B with Empoli and he guided them to promotion into Serie A in the 2001-02 season.

His performances at the small Tuscan club prompted then Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni to field him in a friendly against England in March 2002 - the first time a Serie B player had received an international call-up in 20 years.

Middlesbrough then paid a club record fee of £8.15 million when they signed him at the start of the 2002-03 season.

He struggled in England but the high point came in last season's UEFA Cup, when he scored late winners in the quarter-final against Basel and semi-final with Steaua Bucharest to help Middlesbrough reach the final.