ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Zenit St. Petersburg signed Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio on a free transfer on Monday after he was released by Juventus.

The 32-year-old Marchisio arrives in Russia on a two-year contract after a deal which required Russian Football Union approval because it was finalized outside the usual registration period.

Marchisio left Juventus last month following what the club called "the agreed termination of his contract." He spent 25 years with Juventus since joining at the age of seven.

"I like the club and its ambition," Marchisio said in a statement on the Zenit website. "When I left Juventus, I promised that I wouldn't move to any other Italian team, so I wanted to find a club which shared my values."

Marchisio added he will join the Zenit squad at the weekend. Zenit said he will be available for Europa League group games.

The industrious Marchisio played nearly 400 games for Juventus, winning seven Serie A titles, but was less prominent since a cruciate ligament injury in 2016. He played 15 times in Serie A last season.

Marchisio has played 55 times for Italy, but only once since 2015.

Zenit finished a disappointing fifth in the Russian Premier League last season but leads the table in this campaign after six games.

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