Posted: Fri January 4, 2013 7:49AM; Updated: Fri January 4, 2013 1:06PM

Rossi joins Fiorentina from Villarreal

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Giuseppe Rossi
Giuseppe Rossi was born in New Jersey but plays internationally for Italy.
Simon Bellis/Icon SMI

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) -- Preparing to return from injury, Italy forward Giuseppe Rossi has completed a transfer from Villarreal to Fiorentina.

The Tuscan club announced the move Friday and Rossi signed a four-year deal worth slightly more than ?2 million ($2.6 million) per season, plus bonuses.

Fiorentina reportedly paid a ?9.5 million ($12.45 million) transfer fee to Villarreal.

Rossi has been out for 14 months, since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a game against Real Madrid in October 2011. He underwent surgery a day later, then tore the same ACL again and had another operation in April. He is expected to start playing again in March.

The 25-year-old Rossi had been with Villarreal since 2007. The United States-born striker began his career with Manchester United.

Fiorentina has been one of the biggest surprises of the first half of the Serie A season and is tied for third with Inter Milan, nine points behind leader Juventus.

Rossi will join two other former Villarreal players already with Fiorentina, defender Gonzalo Rodriguez and midfielder Borja Valero.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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