AS Monaco FC have signed FC Barcelona forward Javier Saviola on loan until 30 June 2005 - but have lost Javier Chevantón to a knee injury for up to two months.
Saviola, a 22-year-old Argentinian, received a Spanish passport today giving him European Union status, but has still been forced to leave Barça for this season as they ended the summer with six non-EU players - double the allowed quota. He will therefore play for last season's UEFA Champions League runners-up for 2004/05 before returning to Camp Nou next year.
'All the best'
Saviola, who joined the Catalan side from CA River Plate in July 2001 and has gone on to score 60 goals for the Blaugranas, said: "I wish Barça all the best while I am away. It is a good solution for me, but I will be back."
Monaco, who were bolstered in the Champions League last season by signing Fernando Morientes, will be grateful for Saviola's presence after it was confirmed that recent signing Chevantón will be out for six to eight weeks with a twisted knee.
Chevantón limped off the pitch during Saturday's 1-1 Ligue 1 draw at RC Lens. A Monaco statement said: "The 24-year-old will be unavailable for six to eight weeks." That rules him out of the first two Champions League matchdays, and leaves him a doubt for the next two fixtures, both against Olympiacos CFP - at home on 19 October and in Greece 15 days later.
Champions League campaign
Monaco begin their campaign against Liverpool FC on 15 September before meeting RC Deportivo La Coruña. Barcelona start 24 hours earlier at Celtic FC prior to Group F fixtures against AC Milan and FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
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