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Liverpool get Aquilani…

alberto-aquilaniReds manager Rafael Benitez identified Italy international Aquilani as his preferred replacement for Xabi Alonso, who joined Real Madrid for around £30m earlier this week.

Liverpool had a bid for Aquilani accepted by Roma on Wednesday before the player headed to Merseyside for a medical and contract talks. The now former Roma man is expected to be at Anfield on Saturday to witness his new team-mates take on Atletico Madrid in the club’s final pre-season friendly before next weekend’s big kick-off.

While Aquilani insisted the ankle injury that needed surgery this summer and restricted his appearances for the Serie A club last season would be a non-issue, he will not be fit to face Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday in the Barclays Premier League season opener at White Hart Lane.

Announcing the deal on the club website, a Liverpool statement read: “Liverpool FC confirmed this evening that Alberto Aquilani has successfully completed a medical and agreed a five-year contract with the club. The player will now continue his rehabilitation from an ankle operation under the guidance of Liverpool’s medical team and is expected to be fully fit in approximately 4-8 weeks time.” Can’t wait to see him in the uniform next to Stevie G.

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