According to the BBC, Alberto Aquilani is tonight in Italy as he seeks to seal a switch to Fiorentina. His three year nightmare at Liverpool is at an end after the Italian midfielder completed his protracted move to Fiorentina. The 28-year-old leaves Anfield having made just 18 Premier League appearances for the club, despite costing £17million when he was drafted in as Xabi Alonso’s replacement in 2009. Rafael Benitez brought Aquilani to Anfield as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, but he struggled with injury and only made 26 appearances in his first season.
Aquilani scored two goals in his 28 appearances for Liverpool. Despite spending the last two seasons on loan at Juventus and AC Milan, his wages – in excess of £5m per year – were a drain on the Anfield club’s funds. A statement on club website liverpoolfc.com read: “Liverpool Football Club can today confirm that Alberto Aquilani has completed a permanent transfer to Serie A side Fiorentina. The Italian midfielder joined Liverpool in 2009 but made just 28 first-team appearances having spent the last two seasons on loan in his homeland. Everyone at the club would like to wish Alberto all the best for the future.” A permanent return to his homeland has now finalised with Fiorentina a deal reportedly worth £3million, with Liverpool said to be subsidising his wages for the first two seasons of his three-year deal at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. On Friday morning Fiorentina’s honorary president Andrea Della Vale hinted a deal was close. “He is the big name signing that we were waiting for,” he said. Aquilani’s new team-mate Francesco Della Rocca, added: “Alberto is a great player and he will do really well at Fiorentina. He wants to bounce back from what has not been a very positive time for him at Liverpool and I am convinced that it will be a big chance for him in Florence.”
Fiorentina are believed to be offering the Reds around £7m, which represents a huge loss on their initial £20m outlay. However, his departure will lighten the wage bill significantly, which is a priority for Brendan Rodgers under FSG. Aquilani’s exit is likely to accelerate Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers’ bid to sign Swansea’s Joe Allen, a player he knows well from their time together at the Liberty Stadium. Rodgers has already confirmed his interest in 22-year-old Allen while some reports claim the Welsh midfielder, currently on Olympic duty playing for Team GB, has already personal terms with the club.