Date: 1st August 2014 at 12:30am
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New Roma signing Davide Astori has played down media reports that he was close to signing for city rivals Lazio, and says he is thrilled with his move to a stronger side.

The centre-back has joined the Giallorossi on a year-long loan deal, with the option to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

On Thursday 31 July, Astori was presented to the media. “We are delighted to present Davide Astori, a great player with great experience,” said club CEO Italo Zanzi. “Welcome to Rome.”

The 27-year-old only recently signed a new contract with Cagliari after reports linked him with a move to Lazio. Astori though, insists it was nothing more than press speculation despite the two clubs reaching an agreement.

“The media blew things out of proportion [the Lazio transfer],” said Astori.  “There was a deal between two clubs which didn’t end in a transfer.

“Had I agreed terms with Lazio? No. You only talk terms once the two clubs have agreed a fee.”

Astori becomes Roma’s fifth major signing of the summer following the arrivals of Ashley Cole, Seydou Keita, Juan Manuel Iturbe and Salih Ucan.

“Now begins a new season and I am excited to pursue new goals. For me, it is a great joy to play for a stronger Italian club.”

The defender was not part of Italy’s World Cup squad for Brazil 2014 despite being involved during the Confederations Cup a year earlier.

“For me, it was a disappointment. I was part of the project for three years and so the World Cup is the culmination of a dream.”

Astori will wear the number 23 shirt at Roma.