Liverpool sign Aquilani from Roma to replace Alonso

August 8th, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 8 (DPA) Liverpool completed the signing of Alberto Aquilani from Roma as manager Rafa Benitez moved quickly to replace Xabi Alonso after his move to Real Madrid.
The two clubs had already agreed a fee — reported to be around 20 million pounds — before Aquilani came through a medical and signed a five-year deal Friday evening.

The 25-year-old has not played since March because of an ankle injury and he is likely to miss the start of the season, with the club expecting him to be fit between four to eight weeks.

“He will continue his rehabilitation under the guidance of our medical team,” Liverpool said.

Aquilani joins full-back Glen Johnson as Liverpool’s second significant signing of the summer, with Benitez spending around two-thirds of the 30 million pounds he received for Alonso to secure the services of Italy midfielder Aquilani.

“Alberto has a winning mentality and great experience in both Serie A and the Champions League,” Benitez said.

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt said Aquilani can help the club in their bid to win the Premier League title, having been pipped by Manchester United last season.

“It’s good because we will be signing a new player with a lot of quality,” Kuyt said. “Xabi is a very good player but these kind of things happen in football. Teams are changing all the time. Xabi played very well for Liverpool but that’s all history now and we have to move on.

“We have to look forward. That’s what Xabi is doing with Real Madrid and we have to do the same.

“We have a lot of good players still here and we are all determined to go one better in the league after coming so close to winning the title last season.”

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