MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester City boosted their defensive options by signing Argentine centre back Martin Demichelis from Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
With captain Vincent Kompany sidelined for around a month with a groin problem and his usual partner in the heart of defence, Matija Nastasic, only just back from injury himself, the arrival of 32-year-old Demichelis will be welcomed by fans.
Demichelis, who last played for Argentina in 2011, has penned a two-year deal the day before the transfer window shuts with City having already splashed out on attacking players Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo in the close season.
"I am delighted to have joined City because I am still hungry for success and want to improve," Demichelis, who has worked with City manager Manuel Pellegrini before at River Plate and Malaga, said on the club website (www.mcfc.co.uk).
"I have been in Europe for 11 years now and this was a great chance for me to play in the Premier League with such a big club."
City, who had already spent around 90 million pounds on new signings, did not disclose financial details of the deal but local media reported the transfer fee to be in the region of 4 million pounds.
Demichelis had joined Atletico in July having been out of contract at Malaga and had signed a one-year deal with the Madrid club.
Demichelis spent much of his career at Bayern Munich where he won four Bundesliga titles and four German Cups and was a member of the side who lost to Inter Milan in the 2010 Champions League final.
Such experience will be useful for City, who are hoping to recapture the Premier League crown they lost to Manchester United last season as well as improve on two disappointing Champions League showings that ended in group-stage exits.
"I have lived in Europe for many years and I don't think there'll be any problems in adjusting to life here," Demichelis said. "Now I want to repay the manager's faith in me out on the pitch. I can't wait to get started."
City's next game is at Stoke City in the Premier League on September 14.
They have won two and lost one of their opening three games, including a 3-2 defeat by Cardiff City where two of the goals came from set pieces late in a game where they played midfielder Javi Garcia in central defence because of injuries.
(Reporting by Sonia Oxley; Editing by John Mehaffey)