Published: June 23, 2012
OBIORA NWANKWO SIGNS NEW INTER DEAL, SEALS PADOVA LOAN MOVENew Super Eagles midfielder, Obiora Nwankwo, has extended his contract with Serie A giants, Inter Milan, for another two years but was immediately loaned to another Italian club, Padova, who play in the Serie B.

The mercurial ball passer, who joined the former European giants from Lagos team, Eco Football Club, in January 2010, had a year remaining on his three and half-year contract, but agreed fresh terms in a new deal that will tie him to Inter till June 30, 2015.

The extension to his existing deal was sealed on Thursday in Milan after the player returned to Italy after a three-week national assignment, which had him play three games for the Eagles in 2013 Africa Nations and 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Though, he has not been able to establish himself in the Inter first team after fringe appearances in the 2010/2011 season, the Nerrazurri see a great future for the 20-year old and have moved quickly to tie him down following interests from other clubs in Italy, Germany and France.

Nwankwo had featured in six Serie A matches and three UEFA Champions League games for Inter and Parma before a loan spell with Serie B side, AS Gubbio 1910, in the second half of the 2011/2012 season saw him play 18 games and scoring twice in the 21-match campaign.

Despite his new deal, Inter want the former U-23 Eagles captain to continue his football development at former Serie A campaigners, Padova.

The move to Padova will be a reunion for Nwankwo and coach Fulvio Pea, who helped groom the Nigerian ace in season 2009/2010 when he first arrived Italy from Eco Football Club and joined the Primavera (youth team) of the former Italian champions.

Nwankwo, who left Nigeria on Wednesday night, is back in Gubbio after sealing the new Inter deal with his agent Spain-based agent Peter Ejiasi, but is expected to report in Padova for pre-season training next month.

Ejiasi, a Nigerian but licensed by the Spanish football federation, RFEF, says of the contract extension:

"We believe this is a good move for the player because Inter rate him highly and that is why they want him to stay with them longer.

"So, though he is not a regular for them, they believe he is a player that will be ripe to play for them in a year's time.

"The defensive midfield position is a tough one in Italian football and Serie A teams want players in such positions to have a lot of experience, so that is why they want him to go to Padova.

"It's a deal both parties are happy about."

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