31.01.2017 20:07 h

Italy international Ranocchia joins strugglers Hull

Premier League relegation battlers Hull signed Italian international defender Andrea Ranocchia on loan from Serie A side Inter Milan for the rest of the season on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old -- who won the last of his 21 caps in 2016 -- has been at Inter since 2010 but fell out of favour last term and was sent out on loan to Sampdoria.

However, Hull manager Marco Silva said with his international experience and class he will bring much needed defensive solidity to the already stretched central defence.

"Andrea is a good signing for us and he plays in a position that we needed to add to," Silva told the club website.

"We are happy with Michael Dawson, Harry Maguire and Curtis Davies but in these last games they do a lot to help the team.

"With the injury to Curtis now, we needed to bring in one more player.

"He (Ranocchia) has had a very good career up to now and he is a player who can help our team at this level.

"He has the quality to help improve our squad. He has played for a lot of years with Inter Milan and he is an international player for Italy. He is experienced also."

Ranocchia, who won the Italian Cup with Inter in 2011, could go straight into the side for Wednesday's trip to Manchester United.

Hull, who beat United in their League Cup semi-final second leg clash last week but lost on aggregate, are second from bottom of the table and two points adrift of safety going into the midweek round of matches.