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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Senegal attacker Keita Balde returns to Italy with ambitious Inter

AFP, Monday 13 Aug 2018
Keita Balde
Balde played in Senegal's loss to Colombia which saw them knocked out in the group stage at the World Cup (AFP)
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Inter Milan on Monday continued their strong summer transfer window ahead of the start of the Serie A season, announcing the return to Italy of Senegal international Keita Balde on loan from French Ligue 1 side Monaco.

Ambitious Inter, who have been busy in the transfer market after finishing fourth in Serie A last season and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 2011, have brought in the 23-year-old former Lazio striker for a reported initial five million euros ($5.7 million).

The fee will rise to 39 million euros should the Serie A club exercise an option to buy next summer, according to Italian media.

"The forward Keita Balde Diao is a new Nerazzurri player. The Senegalese has signed for Inter from Monaco on a year-long loan with an option to make the deal permanent," Inter said in a statement.

Balde rose to prominence at Lazio in 2016-17, when he scored 16 goals in 31 league appearances -- 10 of which were from the bench -- before sinking into a contract row at the start of last season and leaving for France.

Last term he scored eight goals and provided five assists in 23 Ligue 1 appearances as Monaco finished second behind champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Balde joins fellow Inter newcomers Radja Nainggolan, signed from rivals Roma, promising Argentine attacker Lautaro Martinez and Dutch international centre-back Stefan de Vrij.

They have also brought in right-back Sime Vrsaljko, who started in six of Croatia's seven matches in their run to the World Cup final, on loan from Atletico Madrid.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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