Balotelli says Italian transfer deadline day was dull

MILAN (AP) " Even Mario Balotelli was disappointed at the lack of action by Italy's top clubs on transfer deadline day on Tuesday.

Inter Milan was the only top team in Serie A to complete a signing on a low-key final day of Europe's winter transfer window.

And three hours before the 11 p.m. (1000 GMT) deadline, Balotelli made a reference on Twitter to a female sportscaster being "more interesting than the signings being made."

Inter signed Australia defender Trent Sainsbury on loan from Jiangsu Suning, which is owned by the same company which controls Inter.

The 25-year-old is a direct replacement for Italy international Andrea Ranocchia, who moved to Hull on loan earlier in the day.

It wasn't just a quiet final day for the big teams in Serie A. They were largely inactive throughout the month.

Serie A leader Juventus, which splashed the cash in the offseason, brought in just Tomas Rincon. Title rivals Napoli and Roma also made only one signing each " Leonardo Pavoletti and Clement Grenier.

Veteran goalkeeper Marco Storari, Gerard Deulofeu and Lucas Ocampos moved to AC Milan and Inter also signed Roberto Gagliardini.

Lazio, which is in fifth place and also in the semifinals of the Italian Cup, signed no one.

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ATALANTA

Normally used to battling against relegation, Alatanta is fighting for a place in Europe this season and has bolstered its team with two new players.

The Bergamo club, sixth in Serie A, signed Dutch right-back Hans Hateboer from Groningen as well as ending Anthony Mounier's brief spell at Saint-Etienne.

Mounier's time back in France lasted just four days after the midfielder received death threats from fans for having played for bitter rival Lyon and offensive comments he made years ago.

Mounier returned to Bologna and has now joined Atalanta on loan instead.

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EMPOLI

Relegation-threatened Empoli also signed a pair of players, bringing in Morocco midfielder Omar El Kaddouri on a three-and-a-half year deal as well as promising teenage striker Arnel Jakupovic from Middlesbrough.

The Austrian youth international has penned a contract until June 2021.

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GENOA

Winger Raffaele Palladino went from Crotone back to Genoa, where he had a four-year spell before joining Parma in 2011.

Genoa forward Serge Gakpe moved on loan to Chievo Verona.

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OTHER MOVES

Sampdoria signed Hajduk Split defender Lorenco Simic and also midfielder Valerio Verre, but the latter will be loaned back to Pescara until the end of the season.

Sassuolo brought Italian teenager " and former Roma youth team player " Gianluca Scamacca back to Italy from PSV Eindhoven.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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