MILAN, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Portugal midfielder Maniche has joined Inter Milan on loan from Spanish side Atletico Madrid until June, the Serie A leaders said on Tuesday.
"Maniche is Inter's. This morning, having completed a medical, he signed a contract with the club until June. 30 2008," the club said on their Web site (www.inter.it) after the loan was concluded following days of talks.
Media reports said Inter had first option to buy Maniche for 6 million euros ($9 million).
The 30-year-old was an important part of Jose Mourinho's Porto side that won the 2003 UEFA Cup and the 2004 Champions League. He was also in the Portugal team which reached the Euro 2004 final and the 2006 World Cup semi-final.
The Italian champions, seven points clear at the top and in the last 16 of the Champions League, have drafted Maniche in after their midfield was ravaged by injuries.
Patrick Vieira and Luis Figo are battling to return from long-term problems, Olivier Dacourt is out for the rest of the season after knee surgery and Dejan Stankovic has only just got over a heel injury.
Coach Roberto Mancini was forced to use Romania defender Cristian Chivu in the centre of the park but Maniche's arrival means Chivu can slot back into defence after Walter Samuel suffered a knee injury which could rule him out for the season.
Maniche joined Atletico in 2006, where he revived his club career after disappointing spells at Dynamo Moscow and Chelsea.
But he fell out of favour with the Primera Liga club's coach Javier Aguirre recently and was keen to move to boost his chances of a place in Portugal's Euro 2008 squad.