Genoa CFC have continued to reinforce their squad ahead of their return to UEFA competition, signing defensive midfielder Alberto Zapater from Real Zaragoza for a reported fee of €4.5m.
The 24-year-old is expected to take the place Thiago Motta after his move to FC Internazionale Milano along with Diego Milito, who recommended his former Zaragoza colleague to Genoa. Former Spanish Under-21 international Zapater made his Zaragoza senior debut aged 19 and his performances led to him being dubbed "a real bull" by Diego Maradona. Last season Zapater played a key role in Zaragoza's promotion back to the top flight. "Milito told me many great things about Genoa," Zapater said. "I look forward to getting started."
Genoa, whose only previous European campaign took them to the 1991/92 UEFA Cup semi-finals, begin their UEFA Europa League bid in the play-off round on 20 and 27 August, discovering their opponents in next Friday's draw. They have already signed Rodrigo Palacio, Hernán Crespo, Houssine Kharja and Sergio Floccari, with centre-back Andrea Esposito also set to join from US Lecce after completing a medical.
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