Galatasaray AŞ and Portugal centre-back Fernando Meira has signed a three-year deal at UEFA Cup holders FC Zenit St. Petersburg with less than a week to go before the start of the new Premier-Liga season.
The Turkish champions received a fee of around €4.5m for the tall central defender, who joined Galatasaray for a similar amount from VfB Stuttgart in 2008. The former Vitória SC and SL Benfica player moved to Germany in 2001, scoring eleven goals in 173 league games for Stuttgart over the following seasons, and winning the 2006/07 German title.
The 30-year-old Meira is set to meet his new team-mates today in Italy, where Zenit are preparing for Thursday's UEFA Cup Round of 16 first leg against Udinese Calcio. However, the defender will not be able to play in the remainder of the competition, having already represented Galatasaray in this season's UEFA Cup.
Meira, who has played 21 league matches for Galatasaray this season, made his Portugal debut in 2000 but did not become a first-team regular until after the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He has scored twice in 54 internationals. Zenit travel to FC Spartak Moskva for their first game of the new Russian season on 15 March. Galatasaray visit Hamburger SV in the opening leg of their UEFA Cup Round of 16 tie on Thursday.
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