Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani has completed his move to Italian side Fiorentina for an undisclosed fee.
The Italian, who recently made a plea to new manager Brendan Rodgers to give him a chance at Anfield, flew to Italy upon the commencement of the club’s North American pre-season tour.
On Friday morning Fiorentina’s honorary president Andrea Della Vale hinted a deal with Aquilani was close, while sources said that Rodgers had told Aquilani he was not part of his plans at Liverpool.
Aquilani joined Liverpool in 2009 from Roma but only managed 9 premier league starts for the reds, making 28 appearances overall.
He struggled with injury throughout his first season at the club and has spent the last two seasons on loan at Juventus and AC Milan, where his wages, reportedly up to 5m a year, were a drain on Liverpool’s funds.
The midfielder only managed 2 goals for Liverpool, one in the Premier League against Portsmouth, and the other coming in the 2010 Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid at Anfield.
Rumours that Aquilani could be on his way out of Liverpool had been doing the rounds towards the end of last season, with several reports linking him back to his homeland coming this summer.
While he’s found himself out of favour during his time at Anfield, he has excelled on loan, providing 17 assists in the last three seasons overall, more than any other players in the Liverpool squad.
Delle Vale was quick to praise Aquilani, saying “He is the big name signing that we were waiting for”, while the midfielders new team-mate Francesco Della Rocca added: “Alberto is a great player and he will do really well at Fiorentina.”
The Italian’s departure is expected to open the door for Rodgers to sign 22-year old Team GB player Joe Allen, with whom he worked with at Swansea.
Meanwhile Liverpool are still in pursuit of Fulham’s American midfielder Clint Dempsey, with the pursuit of both him and Allen set to step up in the next couple of weeks.
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