Transfer news: West Bromwich Albion sign Uruguayan international defender Diego Lugano from PSG
The 32-year-old is considered a coup for the club and will bring a wealth of experience to the Hawthorns
Saturday 03 August 2013
West Bromwich Albion have pulled off the signing of veteran Uruguayan defender Diego Lugano from French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
The 32-year-old will join the Baggies on a two-year deal having spent part of last season on-loan at Spanish club Malaga, and he was a part of the Uruguay’s Confederations Cup squad in June.
Lugano wrote on his official Twitter account: “I am very pleased to join West Bromwich Albion for the next two years.”
Lugano began his career with Nacional in his homeland before moving to Sao Paolo in 2003 where he made over 100 appearances in a three-year spell. He was snapped up by Turkish side Fenerbahce, where he stayed for five successful seasons before PSg came calling in 2011.
His time with the Parisian club though was hampered by injury, and he saw his opportunities lessen with the arrival of Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva along with academy starlet Mamahou Sakho.
He made 10 La Liga appearances for Malaga last season after he spent the second half of the season on-loan, and was deemed surplus to requirement by his parent club, with West Brom manager Steve Clarke offering him a way out of the club.
“I'm doing something that has been missing in my career, playing in the Premier League, without doubt the most beautiful and competitive league in the world,” Lugano added.
“The challenge is to match what West Bromwich achieved last season and trying to go a step further to reach European competitions.”
Clarke welcomed his experience and suggested that he will provide competition for current defenders Jonas Olsson, Liam Ridgewell and Gareth McAuley.
The manager said: “I'm delighted to welcome Diego to the club. He's an experienced centre-half who will increase competition in that area of the team.
“This is a tough league. You need as many good players in your squad as you can get - and Diego is undoubtedly one of those.
“Like some of the others we have here, Diego is another player who captains his country and is a leader.
“He has a real hunger and ambition to play and succeed in the Barclays Premier League and he will hopefully get a platform here to show everyone what he can do.
“However, Diego knows he's got a fight on his hands to get into the team.
“Over the past couple of seasons, Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson have been an established Premier League pairing with stiff competition from Gabriel Tamas and young Craig Dawson, who we believe will be a good centre-half for this club in years to come.”
PSG have added another big-money signing to their defensive ranks this summer with the £27.8m signing of 19-year-old Brazilian Marquinhos from Roma, though they passed on their thanks to Lugano after his exit from the club.
“Paris Saint-Germain thanks Lugano for the professionalism he has shown throughout his contract and wishes him well in the English league,” the club said in a statement.
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