Bournemouth have wrapped up the loan signing of Roma forward Juan Iturbe for the rest of the season, subject to Football Association approval.
The 22-year-old Argentine – who won a cap for Paraguay in a friendly before switching his allegiance to the country of his birth – first pitched up in Europe when he joined Porto in 2011, and he spent two years contracted to the Portuguese club during which time he also had loan spells with River Plate and Verona, where he caught the attention of Italian rivals Roma.
Iturbe joined the Giallorossi in the summer of 2014 for a fee of €22.5million, and he went on to make 39 Serie A appearances for the capital club. This includes a dozen this term, and he also appeared in all six of their UEFA Champions League group matches as the Italians qualified from Group E. He will not, though, feature in the remainder of the competition after moving to Bournemouth.
The Cherries have beaten off competition from Premier League rivals Watford to take the forward on loan for the remainder of the season, subject to a work permit, with the view to a permanent transfer at the end of the campaign. Iturbe trained with his new team-mates on Friday, but he will not be eligible for the trip to Claudio Ranieri’s high-flying Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s a big opportunity for me to come and play in the Premier League,” the player told Cherries Player. “There were a few clubs that were interested but things happened pretty quickly and once this process was under way it was a straightforward decision for me to make. I didn’t know a lot about Bournemouth as a club but the more I read and the more I found out how much they wanted me, it’s an easy decision to go to a place where you feel really wanted. That became the overriding factor.”