Pace is gathering this Thursday that Liverpool could be about to make their second big money splash of the summer as rumours go into overdrive that the Merseysiders are planning a Â£15m swoop of Roma’s Alberto Aquilani.
Aquilani, a central midfielder who has already claimed 11 international caps for the Azzurri, falls into the Xabi Alonso replacement category, as the Spanish midfielder’s wantaway links with Real Madrid persist.
Any acquisition for Aquilani will be pricey after the Giallorossi tied the 25-year-old down to a new contract extension back in May. Under the terms of the new deal, the player is contracted at the Stadio Olympico until the end of the 2013 season in which Aquilani’s salary increases on a year-by-year basis each season, ranging from around 3.2 million euros for the forthcoming Serie A season up to around 4.5 million euros for the last two campaigns of his deal.
To-date Aquilani has been a one-club man. A life-long Roma fan, the midfielder has been at the club since 2002, although his was farmed out to Triestina for one season earfly in his career.
Standing 6ft tall Aquilani is known for his passing and technical ability on the ball together with his tenacity in the centre of the park and excellent engine to boot. Although never a serial goalscorer,Â Aquilani has been known to crack home shots from distance, and the midfielder can also cause trouble from dead-ball situations.
The major black-mark against the midfielder is a concern over fitness. Aquilani is currently sidelined, still recovering from ankle surgery needed during the course of last season which has currently kept the player out of action for 24 weeks. Additionally, back in 2007 Aquilani was also forced to miss out on another 23 weeks of football after picking up separate injuries to both legs.
Hype over Aquilani’s departure to Anfield has been fuelled after Roma coach Luciano Spalletti hinted at a press conference on Wednesday that he may be prepared to part with the midfielder. Amid the current financial crisis it is common knowledge that Roma are seeking to swell their coffers in order to bring in fresh faces this summer. Accordindly, the slap-head Roma manager went on record saying “having many midfielders, including Aquilani, it is possible we have a few too many players for that role.”
Yet the quotes go both ways with the player’s agent, Franco Zavaglia, looking to quash the story out of hand this Thursday. According to quotes filtering on the wire the agent has shouted “Alberto to Liverpool? Lets not talk about stupid things! There is no point in talking about this as there is nothing true or concrete. The player has only recently renewed his deal and he is working hard to recover from injury and give his best to Roma.”
Video evidence of Alberto Aquilani can be seen here.