MILAN — Three of the biggest transfers in Serie A on deadline day saw players switch from the English Premier League to Italy’s top league on Wednesday.
Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart completed a loan move to Torino, while Juan Cuadrado returned to Juventus on a three-year loan deal and Luis Alberto joined Lazio from Liverpool on a permanent basis.
The 29-year-old Hart had lost his starting spot at City since Pep Guardiola arrived as coach during the offseason, falling to third choice behind new signing Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero.
“All of a sudden, my career reached a turning point, I interpreted it as a sign of fate. And so I had to do something,” Hart said in an Italian statement on the Torino website. “The offer from Torino arrived at the right moment, in the right way. I am very happy to be able to test myself in a lovely and difficult league such as Serie A.
No financial details were given but reports said City will pay 60 percent of Hart’s salary.
Attilio Lombardo, who was part of Roberto Mancini’s backroom staff at City and is now assistant to Torino coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, is thought to have played a key part in the move.
Hart follows a long list of English players in Italy, but is one of the few at the top of his game to move abroad in recent times. None of England’s players at the European Championship were based overseas.
Here’s a look at other moves in Serie A on the last day of the transfer window:
The club that strengthened its squad the most in Serie A is already the best club in the league.
Juventus made a number of top signings in the offseason, including bringing in last season’s top goalscorer Gonzalo Higuain for 90 million euros ($99 million) in the most expensive transfer in Italian football history.
There were also key departures, such as Paul Pogba returning to Manchester United for a word-record fee of $116 million, but those were overshadowed by the transfers of Higuain, as well as the arrivals of playmaker Miralem Pjanic, winger Dani Alves and defender Medhi Benatia.
Juventus further reinforced its stellar squad on the final day of the transfer window by re-signing Cuadrado on a three-year loan deal.
It will pay Chelsea 5 million euros ($5.6 million) a season for the winger, who also spent last season on loan in Turin.
Juventus will have the option to make the deal permanent for 25 million euros ($28 million) — and will be obliged to if “determined sporting targets” are met.
A sixth successive Serie A title seems a foregone conclusion, even if Juventus was ultimately thwarted in its attempts to sign Alex Witsel from Zenit St. Petersburg.
Juventus had already agreed to a fee for Witsel, who had passed a medical examination, but Zenit would not let the Belgium midfielder go until it had signed a suitable replacement — which it failed to do.
If Juventus had the best moves in the transfer window, Milan had arguably the worst of the top clubs — and one of its poorest in recent times.
Last year saw the arrivals of Carlos Bacca, Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Bertolacci, Luiz Adriano and Juraj Kucka, among others.
After a quiet offseason, Milan fans would have been hoping for a top signing on deadline day and there were reports that players such as Cesc Fabregas were close to completing a move to San Siro.
In the end, however, the only player to move to Milan on Wednesday was Chile midfielder Mati Fernandez, who joined on loan from Fiorentina with the option of making the deal permanent at the end of the season.
The move sees the Chile international link up again with former Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella.
Napoli beat the clock to sign Nikola Maksimovic from Torino, depositing the defender’s contract with the league’s governing body minutes before the transfer window shut at 11 p.m. local time.
Maksimovic’s flight from Frankfurt to Rome was delayed after the German airport had to be evacuated following a bomb scare.
The Serbia international managed to get to Rome but because of time constraints, Napoli decided to skip the medical exam — which Maksimovic will undergo in the next few days — and whisked him directly to sign the contract.
The 24-year-old Maksimovic has joined on loan with the obligation to make the deal permanent for a reported 27 million euros ($30 million) in a deal that also saw midfielder Mirko Valdifiori move the other way on a permanent basis.