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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 August, 2004, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
Six to watch in Serie A
By Tom McCoy
BBC Sport

With Juve, Inter and Roma all desperate to close the gap on last year's run-away champions Milan, the close season in Italy has seen a string of star names on the move.

BBC Sport takes a look at six of the biggest signings in Serie A this summer.

Emerson: Roma to Juventus, £10m plus Matteo Brighi

Juventus midfielder Emerson, pictured in action for Roma
In: Fabio Capello (coach), Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Fabio Cannavaro, Olivier Kapo, Jonathan Zebina, Manuele Blasi, Emerson
Out: Marcello Lippi (ex-coach), Fabrizio Miccoli, Marco Di Vaio, Enzo Maresca, Matteo Brighi, Antonio Conte, Edgar Davids

Determined to provide midfield cover for a defence that creaked badly last season, new Juventus coach Fabio Capello raided former club Roma for Brazil captain Emerson.

The 28-year-old was keen to be reunited with Capello, failing to report for pre-season training in Rome because of "depression" when the club tried to sell him to Real Madrid rather than Juve.

Emerson was an instant hit at Roma, winning the scudetto in his first season after joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2000.

After Juve's disappointing third-place finish last year, fans in Turin are hoping the Brazilian can have a similar impact at the Stadio Delle Alpi.

Jaap Stam: Lazio to AC Milan, £5.5m

The arrival of former PSV Eindohven and Manchester United defender Stam gives reigning champions Milan a fearsome backline.

Together with the outstanding Alessandro Nesta and evergreen Paolo Maldini, Stam's arrival means coach Carlo Ancelotti can call on three world-class central defenders.

In: Hernan Crespo (loan), Vikash Dhorasoo, Jaap Stam
Out: Martin Laursen, Marco Borriello (loan)
The challenge for Ancelotti is how to incorporate the trio into his starting XI without disrupting Milan's balance.

Ancelotti has already ruled out switching to 3-5-2, so club captain Maldini may have to shift to left-back to accommodate Stam, as he did in Milan's win against Lazio in the Super Cup, Italy's equivalent of the Community Shield.

At 32, Stam is perhaps too old to be considered a long-term replacement for Maldini but he is versatile enough to fill in at right-back, as he often did during his three-year stint at Lazio.

Edgar Davids: Juventus to Internazionale, free

A free agent after seeing out his contract with Juve, Davids was heavily linked to Chelsea, Tottenham and Roma before signing a three-year deal with the Nerazzurri worth nearly £50,000 per week.

In: Roberto Mancini (coach), Fabian Carini, Juan Sebastian Veron (loan), Esteban Cambiasso, Ze Maria, Guiseppe Favalli, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Nicolas Burdisso, Lampros Choutos, Edgar Davids
Out: Fabio Cannavaro, Stephane Dalmat, Thomas Helveg, Mohamed Kallon, Jeremie Brechet, Matias Almeyda, Okan
He initially failed to settle in Italy after joining AC Milan from Ajax in 1996 but rediscovered his form at Juventus, winning three league titles.

The Dutchman's reluctance to agree a new deal last season saw him loaned to Barcelona in January but despite playing a key role in Barca's rise from mid-table to second place in La Liga, Davids decided against a permanent move to the Nou Camp.

He joins an Inter squad overflowing with talented attacking talents but sorely in need of a top-class holding midfielder.

Simone Perrotta: Chievo to Roma, £3m

Roma midfielder Simone Perrotta
In: Rudi Voller (coach), Ahmed Hossam Mido, Matteo Ferrari, Philippe Mexes, Matteo Brighi, Simone Perrotta
Out: Fabio Capello (ex-coach), Walter Samuel, Jonathan Zebina, Francisco Lima

After spells with Reggina, Juve and Bari, Perrotta caught the eye at Chievo as the Flying Donkeys took Serie A by storm.

A hard-working defensive midfielder, Perrotta started all three of Italy's games at Euro 2004, scoring in the 2-1 win against Bulgaria.

With defenders Matteo Ferrari and Phillippe Mexes also joining this summer, Roma's talented young squad should be able to cope without departed South American stars Emerson and Walter Samuel.

Tomas Ujfalusi: Hamburg to Fiorentina, £4.5m

In: Javier Portillo (loan), Fabrizio Miccoli, Enzo Maresca, Hidetoshi Nakata, Martin Jorgensen, Cristiano Lupatelli, Gianni Guigou, Tomas Ujfalusi
Out: Thomas Manfredini, Massimiliano Scaglia

Two years after they were relegated to Italy's fourth division for bankruptcy, Fiorentina have celebrated their return to Serie A with several big-name signings, including Czech defender Ujfalusi.

The 26-year-old centre-back was a key member of the Czech side that reached the semi-finals at Euro 2004, prompting Fiorentina to make him their most expensive purchase of the summer.

Thanks to investment from shoe tycoon Andre della Valle, Fiorentina are now one of the wealthier clubs in Serie A and are hopeful of re-establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

Simone Barone: Parma to Palermo, £3.5m

A busy close season for Palermo saw the ambitious Sicilians make debt-ridden Parma an offer they couldn't refuse for 26-year-old midfielder Barone.

In: Andrea Barzagli, Adriano da Silva Pereira, Ernesto Antonio Fariąs, Cristian Zaccardo, Matteo Guardalben, Simone Barone
Out: Pippo Maniero, Daniele Di Donato,

As well as persuading Barone to don the Palermo shirt, last season's Serie B champions have also recruited Italian Under-21 defender Andrea Barzagli and Argentine striker Ernesto Antonio Fariąs in preparation for their first Serie A campaign for 32 years.





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