Liverpool have accepted an offer from Fiorentina for out-of-favour midfielder Alberto Aquilani. The 28-year-old has flown to Italy from the Reds’ pre-season tour of the United Statesto finalise the return to his homeland. He had been expecting to be given a chance under new manager Brendan Rodgers after his failed loan spell at AC Milan, but the club accepted an undisclosed fee over the weekend. Aquilani did not travel back to England with the rest of the Liverpool squad after their tour of North America, and has instead made for Rome, where he will meet with Fiorentina to discuss a transfer in the next 24 hours.
He stated recently that he was optimistic of returning to the first team fold under new manager Brendan Rodgers but it appears that the club are eager to dispose of the midfielder they spent £20 million to procure in the summer of 2009. Aquilani was brought to the Merseyside club by former manager Rafael Benitez as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Xabi Alonso. However, injuries and indifferent form meant none of Benitez, Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish could get the best out of him. Aquilani has been with Liverpool for three season after being signed by Rafael Benitez, but only made two appearances under former manager Roy Hodgson, and none under Kenny Dalglish as he went on two season-long loans, first to Juventus and then AC Milan last term.
Aquilani did not travel back to England with the rest of the Liverpool squad after their tour of North America, and has instead made for Rome, where he will meet with Fiorentina to discuss a transfer in the next 24 hours. Despite having two years left on his contract and completing pre-season under new boss Brendan Rodgers, it appears that his time at Liverpool is coming to a conclusion. Rafael Benitez brought Aquilani to Anfield as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, but he struggled with injury and made 26 appearances in his first season. It is also reported that Swansea’s Joe Allen remains a target for Rodgers and proceeds from Aquilani’s sale will be used to stage a bid for the Welshman. Liverpool will likely have to accept a substantial loss on their investment if they are to sell the 28-year-old midfielder to Fiorentina. La Viola are in urgent need of an attacking midfielder as former captain Riccardo Montolivo left the club to join Milan on a free transfer earlier in the summer.
The side, which ended last season in 13th place, are also struggling to hold onto Montegrin attacker Stevan Jovetic who has attracted the interest of Serie A champions Juventus in recent weeks. The decision to sell Aquilani came late last week, with Liverpool officials confident they will be able to tie up the signing of Swansea’s Joe Allen as a replacement. Aquilani was not included in the Liverpool side that drew 0-0 with Tottenham and Saturday, with Rodgers keen to keep the player injury free after negotiations began with Fiorentina. It’s thought that Liverpool will net £3 million from the sale, with £2 million in potential add-ons