July 27, 2007 / 4:38 PM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Chivu joins Inter Milan after protracted talks

(adds details of the deal)

ROME, July 27 (Reuters) - Romania defender Cristian Chivu joined Inter Milan on Friday after the Italian champions came to an agreement with AS Roma following weeks of talks.

Chivu was transferred for 16 million euros ($21.8 million) with Inter defender Marco Andreolli moving the other way in a shared ownership deal between the two clubs, Roma said in a statement.

“I am going to Inter. It is a life choice,” Chivu told a news conference at Roma’s training ground.

“I would like to be remembered as a good lad. I have spent four marvellous years here, full of satisfaction.”

Inter had pulled out of negotiations earlier this month before an 18 million euro move to Real Madrid collapsed because of the 26-year-old’s salary demands.

Barcelona had also expressed an interest in Chivu, one of Serie A’s top defenders last season when Roma finshed second behind Inter and won the Italian Cup.

Roberto Mancini’s Inter finally went back in for the former Ajax player this week and have wrapped up a deal despite Chivu starting pre-season training with Roma.

Roma had already bought Brazil centre back Juan from Bayer Leverkusen to replace Chivu, who is expected to partner Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the centre of Inter’s defence.

Inter, who have agreed to play a friendly with Roma within the next three seasons as part of the deal, flew to London on Friday for a pre-season tournament at Arsenal. Chivu was not included in the party. (Writing by Mark Meadows in Milan)

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