Inter have finalised the signing of defender Lisandro López from Benfica, on loan until the end of the season with an option to buy.
The centre-back had been heavily linked with a move away from Portugal in this window and had even been listed as one of the options that Guillermo Barros Schelotto was keen to bring to Boca Juniors, but after completing a medical on Monday morning is now an Inter player.
It is understood that Benfica will receive €500,000 for the loan and Inter have a €9 million option to buy at the end of the campaign.
Ufficiale: @lichilopez2 è nerazzurro! ⚫️🔵
— Inter (@Inter) January 15, 2018
López will wear the number two shirt and could make his debut at home to Roma on Sunday with Luciano Spalletti’s side eager to return to their impressive early season form after now going five league games without a win and dropping to third, nine points behind leaders Napoli.
“To play for a club such as Inter who are one of the biggest in Europe is a dream which means a lot for me,” López told Inter’s official website.
“I’ve come here to give a hand to the team, to help it reach its objectives. There have been a lot of Argentines at Inter. Among others, Samuel, Zanetti and Milito come to mind and they’re all players who’ve made history. I hope to do well too. I used to follow Serie A and it’s one of the best leagues in the world for me. It’s very tactical, very competitive and I’ll look to give my all and learn day by day.”
The 28-year-old came through the ranks at Chacarita Juniors but it was with Arsenal de Sarandí that he really made his name. A powerful, commanding presence at the back López was an important part of one of the best teams in the club’s history and provided a real goal threat at set-pieces, scoring 17 goals in his three years with the club.
This form prompted the move to Benfica but after an initial loan spell with Getafe, López failed to ever really make a lasting impression in Portugal. A useful member of the squad, in the three-and-a-half seasons with the Águias, the club have won three League Titles, one Cup, two League Cups and two Supercups.
López will be hoping to make more of an impact in Milan and with only Nicolás Otamendi really commanding a definite spot in central defence, the former Arsenal centre-back may still harbour ambitions of adding to his Argentina appearances.