Sunday, 2 August 2009

Roma midfielder Aquilani set to replace Alonso

A number of Sunday papers are reporting that Liverpool are in talks with Roma over the signing of midfielder Alberto Aquilani who will replace Xabi Alonso should his move to Real Madrid be completed. The Mirror reports the deal as almost done, claiming: “the Merseysiders were last night on the verge of completing a £20million swoop for 25year-old Italy star Aquilani.” The article suggest the player has been under Rafa’s watchful eye for some time: “Liverpool boss Benitez has been monitoring the midfielder since the European Under-21 Championship two years ago.”

The Star is also running the story claiming: “The fee for Aquilani, 25, is expected to be £18m,” and goes on to say: “Aquilani has always been Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez’s first choice in the event of Alonso leaving.” Although the players agent has recently called such a move ‘laughable,’ the cash strapped club may have a different view on the subject and Benitez “is aware that Roma need to make a significant sale to ease their financial problems,” says the story. Aquilani who is under contract in Rome until 2013, “had an ankle problem last season, which could make signing him something of a gamble. But when fit, he is regarded as one of the top midfielders in Europe.”

Fellow Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has admitted it would be a major blow for Roma if Alberto Aquilani joins Liverpool, although he acknowledge it would be a good move for the midfielder.

He believes the club may regret selling the player however, De Rossi understands why his team-mate might be tempted to go to Liverpool admitting he would be able to improve by playing alongside the best midfielder in the world.

"I don't know the details and I don't know if the deal is real," reports Sky Sports.

"If it's as it's written in the papers, we will lose a great player.”

"His many injuries have maybe meant that he's been forgotten about a bit, but I am sure that if he leaves we will regret it.”

"He's a footballer with exceptional skill and above all he grew up in Roma's academy and has a love for this shirt that you cannot buy.”

"But if you think about his career I think it would be a good opportunity, he would grow a lot by being close to the best midfielder in the world - Steven Gerrard.”

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