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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Crespo clinches Milan move
Hernan Crespo
Crespo scored 12 goals in 31 appearances last season
Chelsea striker Hernan Crespo has secured a return to Italy on a one-year loan deal with AC Milan.

The Argentine international moves back to the city where he played for Inter before a patchy season with the Blues.

His departure from Stamford Bridge is likely to trigger an improved Chelsea bid for Marseille's Didier Drogba.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani welcomed Crespo, saying: "It is a decision that everyone wanted, and it is certainly a present to our fans."

Crespo, who has signed an agreement with Milan until June 30, 2005, said: "The idea of returning to play in Italy gives me great pleasure."

To anyone who is worried about my fitness, I would say that I am in great shape
Hernan Crespo

Crespo insists he is raring to go despite doubts about his fitness, but admits he will need to be at his best to earn a regular place in the Milan line-up.

Andrei Shevchenko was the top scorer in Serie A last season, while Italy's Filippo Inzaghi and Denmark's Jon Dahl Tomasson are strikers of proven international class.

"To anyone who is worried about my fitness, I would say that I am in great shape," Crespo continued. "Of that there is no doubt.

"The three strikers who are already at Milan are great players, and they have proved it many times.

"The derby against Inter will have a special impression on me, but it is still too soon to talk about these things."

Crespo will link up again with coach Carlo Ancelotti, the man who was in charge of Parma when the Argentina striker made his first steps in Italian football.

He scored 37 goals in 64 league matches between 1998 and 2000, statistics which earned him an Italian-record 35m move to Lazio in the summer of 2000.

The former River Plate striker then moved north to Inter two years later, before he was signed by Chelsea last summer.

But he made only 18 league appearances for the Blues, scoring 10 goals.

Crespo is Milan's third major signing of the summer, with Dutch defender Jaap Stam and French midfielder Vikash Dhorasoo also having joined the Rossoneri.

Drogba gets 27m price tag
14 Jul 04  |  Chelsea
Drogba 'not for sale'
14 Jun 04  |  Chelsea
Chelsea 'back for Drogba'
09 Jun 04  |  Chelsea
Drogba staying at Marseille
14 May 04  |  African

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