Official: Cristian Zaccardo signs for Milan

Paolo Bruno

Parma full back Cristian Zaccardo is now with the rossoneri, opening the door for Ignazio Abate to leave for Zenit.

AC Milan have announced the signing of right-back Cristian Zaccardo from Parma. At first, the deal looked to be a straight swap: the rossoneri would take Zaccardo and Parma would have Djamel Mesbah, who's made just nine appearances for Milan in his year with the club. But, to really clinch the deal, midfielder Rodney Strasser was also thrown in, albeit on loan.

Milan's official announcement contains no details, but earlier reports suggest Zaccardo's contract will last through June 2017, the full length of his deal with Parma. Considering the defender is 31 years old, that's a long contract the club have just purchased.

This marks a change for the rossoneri, who just a year ago insisted on giving only one-year extensions to players over thirty. The desire to rid he club of its elders saw Alessandro Nesta, Filippo Inzaghi, Clarence Seedorf, and others leave Milan in the summer. But perhaps the side's struggles in Serie A this year have shown the club that a bit of experience isn't always so bad.

The signing of Zaccardo likely reflects the fact that Ignazio Abate is almost certain to be on his way out. Milan and Zenit St. Petersburg are negotiating a deal for the fullback.

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