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Ince leaves Inter for Liverpool

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Liverpool said on Friday they had signed Paul Ince from Internazionale for 4.2 million pounds ($6.3 million), bringing the unsettled England midfielder home after two seasons in Italy.

Liverpool's official Clubcall line said vice-chairman Peter Robinson returned from Italy with Ince's signature on Thursday night.

It said that there were ``one or two slight formalities but Ince is as good as a Liverpool player.''

Ince will fly to England on Monday and begin training with his new team mates on Tuesday with a view to playing in Wednesday's friendly against Bristol City.

The move was widely expected, with Ince having already announced he would be leaving Inter and Liverpool manager Roy Evans saying last Wednesday that he hoped to sort out the transfer details in the next few days.

The former England captain had been linked to several premier league clubs, including Arsenal and Blackburn, after months of speculation about his future. The latter club are managed by his former Inter coach Roy Hodgson.

Inter have already signed Brazilian midfielder Ze Elias from German club Bayer Leverkusen as a natural replacement for the Englishman whose gritty performances at the San Siro stadium won over the Inter faithful.

Ince, dubbed ``The Guvnor'' by the fans, moved to the Milanese club from Manchester United in 1995 for a then-record transfer for the English club of seven million pounds ($11.7 million).

He had won the league title twice with United, with a league and cup double in 1994 after their first title win in 26 years that came in 1993.

The midfielder also captured the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1991 and the League Cup in 1992, but was determined to prove himself on a new stage.

Ince's time at Inter was less successful, with Inter promising much but failing to meet expectations. They ended last season third, qualifying for the UEFA Cup -- the same competition that Liverpool will play in next season.

In his first season in Italy, Ince suffered racial abuse at some grounds and was heavily criticised by sports newspapers for his poor form.

But he soon began to prove his worth, marshalling Inter's midfield and increasingly scoring goals.

Fans at the last games of the season held up banners urging the player -- the only Englishman in serie A -- to stay at the club.

While Inter wanted him to stay to see out his contract which had another year to run, newspapers in both countries reported that personal reasons were increasingly leading Ince back to English soccer.

The player has two young sons and his wife Claire had reportedly been keen to return to be close to family.

The midfielder was the third major pre-season signing for Liverpool following Wimbledon's Oyvind Leonhardsen and Danny Murphy from first division Crewe.

But there was also bad news for the club when it was revealed that Norwegian defender Bjorn Tore Kvarme has cracked a bone in his left shoulder.

The club said he will be out for six to eight weeks.

Ince Fact File 

from "Reuters"

LONDON, July 18 (Reuter) - Fact file on England midfielder Paul Ince who joined Liverpool from Internazionale on Friday:

1967: Born Ilford, October 21.

1982: Joins West Ham as a trainee. Plays for England youth team.

1986: Makes professional debut for West Ham.

1989: After 93 appearances and 12 goals for West Ham, joins Manchester United.

1990: Collects F.A. Cup winners' medal with United after beating Crystal Palace.

1991: Wins European Cup Winners' Cup with Manchester, beating Barcelona 2-1. Also won European Super Cup against Red Star Belgrade 1-0.

1992: League Cup winners' medal after United beat Nottingham Forest 1-0. Makes full England debut on September 9 in 1-0 defeat of Spain.

1993: Wins English league title with United, becomes first black player to captain England in 1-1 draw with Brazil in U.S. Cup in Washington.

1994: Wins English league title for second time with United. Also F.A. Cup after 4-0 win over Chelsea.

1995: Charged with common assault on Crystal Palace fan during premier league game at Selhurst Park on January 25.

1995: Joins Inter in a 7 million pounds ($11.7 million) deal, a record fee received for United.

1997: Joins Liverpool for 4.2 million pounds ($7 million).

Copyright - Reuters

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