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Fabrizio Ravanelli's agent Gianni Paladini
"I promise you, he will be a Derby player by the weekend"
 real 14k

Friday, 27 July, 2001, 19:26 GMT 20:26 UK
Ravanelli completes Rams switch
Fans greet Ravanelli as he arrives at Pride Park
Fans greet Ravanelli as he arrives at Pride Park
Fabrizio Ravanelli is back in English football after signing a two-year deal with Premiership side Derby County.

The 32-year-old striker will meet his new team-mates at Hillsborough on Saturday, when the Rams take on Sheffield Wednesday in a pre-season friendly.

Ravanelli has a proven striking pedigree and will be a very valuable asset to our squad
Jim Smith

Rams boss Jim Smith was delighted Ravanelli had finally agreed to leave Serie A side Lazio after two months of negotiations.

"There were a few complications - none of which were at our end - but it's fantastic that Fabrizio has agreed to join us," Smith told the club's official website.

"He has a proven striking pedigree and will be a very valuable asset to our squad. I look forward to him linking up with the rest of the players next week."

Ravanelli is Smith's first major signing of a summer which has seen him already lose Rory Delap to Southampton for 4m.

The Italian moved to Middlesbrough in 1996, but his 31 goals that season could not stop Boro from being relegated.

He left England in September 1997 when he agreed to join Olympique Marseille for 5.3m.

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