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Soccer-Roma sign Kalinic and Mkhitaryan on loan

Credit: REUTERS/John Sibley

AS Roma have signed Armenia midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Arsenal and Croatia forward Nikola Kalinic from Atletico Madrid on loan for the rest of the season, the Serie A club said on Monday.

ROME, Sept 2 (Reuters) - AS Roma have signed Armenia midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Arsenal and Croatia forward Nikola Kalinic from Atletico Madrid on loan for the rest of the season, the Serie A club said on Monday.

Mkhitaryan, Armenia's record scorer with 27 goals in 83 games, has joined after a disappointing spell at Arsenal where he netted nine goals in 59 matches in his 1-1/2 seasons.

"It’s a great opportunity for me to begin a new chapter, with a great club,” said the 30-year-old who has also played for Pyunik, Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester United.

"I know what this club is all about and I am sure we can achieve great things together."

The much-travelled 31-year-old Kalinic will be playing at his third Serie A club after Fiorentina and AC Milan.

He has also played for Hadjuk Split, Sibenik, Blackburn Rovers and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and won 42 caps, although he was sent home from last year's World Cup after refusing to come on as a substitute in Croatia's opening game against Nigeria.

"I am proud to become part of this team and this club. Roma has big history and I am very happy to be here," he said.

Roma have had a busy transfer window, also signing left back Leonardo Spinazzola from Juventus, goalkeeper Pau Lopez from Real Betis, defender Chris Smalling from Manchester United, midfielder Amadou Diawara from Napoli, right back Davide Zappacosta from Chelsea and forward Jordan Veretout from Fiorentina.

They have also hired former Shakhtar Donetsk coach Paulo Fonseca in a bid to improve on last season's disappointing sixth place finish in Serie A. They have started the new campaign with two draws.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Ken Ferris)

((brian.homewood@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 7933; Reuters Messaging: brian.homewood.reuters.com@reuters.net; . Twitter @brianhomewood))

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