Higuain, Piatek, Boateng notable moves in Serie A transfer window

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Rome, Feb 1 (IANS) Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain’s move from AC Milan to Chelsea, Poland’s Krzysztof Piatek’s move to replace him at the Milan club, and Ghanaian forward Kevin Prince Boateng’s transfer to Barcelona from Sassuolo were the most notable deals that were sealed during a transfer window in Italy.

Milan was the most active Serie A team during the winter transfer window which closed on Thursday, as it lost Higuain — who was playing on loan from Juventus — and signed Piatek from Genoa and talented Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta. reports Efe news.

However, Higuain’s departure from Milan is the most surprising move. He had a disappointing first half of the season, scoring just six goals in 15 Serie A.

Higuain joined Chelsea on loan until the end of the season and was replaced in Milan by an in-form Piatek, who scored 19 goals in 21 games in both Serie A and the Italian Cup.

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The twice-capped Piatek joined Milan for a reported 35 million euros ($40 million) and scored twice over a 17-minute stretch in only his second game with his new club, leading Milan to the Italian Cup semi-finals at Napoli’s expense.

While Milan fans hope Piatek will refresh the attacking line, Paqueta, 21, looks to reinforce the midfield following his $40-million transfer from Flamengo.

Genoa saw in Real Betis and Paraguay striker Antonio Sanabria the best replacement for Piatek and it took him only four minutes on the field to score his first goal with the Italian club in their 3-1 Serie A away win over Empoli.

The 31-year-old Boateng joined Barcelona in another surprising move, after the forward scored five goals during the first six months of the season.

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Barcelona paid one million euros ($1.14 million) to sign Boateng on an 18-month loan contract that included an option of permanent transfer for a further eight million euros ($9.15 million).

Having already signed a big name such as Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer transfer window, Juventus only transferred Morocco centre back Medhi Benatia to Al Duhail Sports Club of Qatar and replaced him with Uruguay’s Martin Caceres, who joined Juve for a third spell on loan from fellow Serie A side Lazio.

Among other deals that have been sealed over the winter transfer window, Sevilla and Colombia forward Luis Muriel joined Fiorentina, returning to Italy, where he has played for Udinese and Sampdoria.

Inter, meanwhile, had a more calm transfer window, only signing Portugal defender Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton.

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–IANS

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