AC Milan have signed Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Serie A rivals Genoa CFC.
The 22-year-old centre-back has moved for an undisclosed fee with Genoa simultaneously taking joint ownership of Milan prospects Nnamdi Oduamadi, Rodney Strasser and Gianmarco Zigoni. An AEK Athens FC youth product, Papastathopoulos captained Greece to the final of the 2007 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, but was suspended for the loss to Spain in the decider. The following year he made his senior international debut and joined Genoa, for whom he made more than 50 Serie A appearances. He played in two of Greece's games at the recent FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Papastathopoulos is the first arrival since former Cagliari Calcio boss Massimiliano Allegri's appointment as Milan coach, though goalkeeper Marco Amelia had previously come in on loan from Genoa. On Monday his fellow custodian Christian Abbiati signed a two-year contract extension, while Wednesday saw 34-year-old Massimo Oddo agree a further 12 months with the club, taking him through until June 2012. The former Italy defender played in only 14 league games last term, and faces further competition for the right-back berth following Papastathopoulos' arrival. Third in Serie A last season, Milan begin their UEFA Champions League campaign in the group stage.
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