Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish could make no space for Alberto Aquilani in his first-team plans this year, despite the Italy midfielder's performances for the Reds in pre-season.

Aquilani has returned to his homeland to join AC Milan on loan for the remainder of the 2011-12 campaign in a deal which includes an option to make the move permanent.

The 27-year-old arrived at Anfield from Roma in 2009 but struggled to make an impact in the Barclays Premier League and was allowed to spend last term back in Serie A with Juventus.

It was widely thought that his Liverpool career had reached an end, but Aquilani then featured frequently for the Merseyside club throughout their pre-season schedule and it began to look as if he might stay.

"It's a great move for Alberto. He's got his wife and kid over there. It was difficult for him here," Dalglish told www.liverpoolfc.tv.

"When he came back his pre-season training was excellent. We gave him a few games, he did well in those games.

"But the problem for us was trying to get him in the team. We couldn't get him in the team. Obviously everybody wants to play and Alberto is moving over to a fantastic football club.

"He goes there with the best wishes of everyone and we hope it works out for him, because he was never a problem in any way, shape or form."

Liverpool host Bolton on Saturday and will be without Raul Meireles, who suffered a collarbone injury in Wednesday's 3-1 Carling Cup victory at Exeter.

Mereiles has since undergone a scan and Dalglish today reported that the Portugal midfielder will be out for up to fortnight.

"It's his collarbone that is damaged, but it's only a week or two," Dalglish said.

"We've been quite fortunate with that. A week or two will be the maximum."

Liverpool go into the Bolton clash looking to build on last week's 2-0 win at Arsenal, which followed their opening-day 1-1 draw against Sunderland at Anfield.

They will then have to wait until September 10 to play again due to the international break, something which Dalglish is frustrated by as he attempts to bed in his new recruits, but acknowledges all Premier League managers have to put up with.

"It's a fantastic honour to represent your country and you should go and do that, but you get a wee bit of momentum going (at club level), then you're off for two weeks and have to pick it up again and start off," he said.

"It's difficult, but it's the same for everybody - and everybody knew the score before we started (the season)."

Gary Cahill is set to feature at Anfield after for Bolton turned down an offer from Arsenal that was "a million miles short" of their valuation of the player.

The 25-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been consistently linked with the England international.

Wenger is keen to bolster his defensive options - he is also thought to be interested in Everton's Phil Jagielka - and has money available following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

But Bolton boss Owen Coyle says the two clubs are a distance apart in terms of their valuation of Cahill.

He told a press conference: "It is nowhere near our valuation as a football club of Gary Cahill.

"I had a chat with Gary prior to the Macclesfield game to explain what had taken place.

"Gary's representatives had been made aware there had been a so-called offer, but given the amount that was talked about I don't call that an offer.

"If I make an offer for someone I do it in writing so you know exactly where you are with it.

"It is fair to say the dialogue was nowhere near what the football club would even consider for Gary Cahill to leave Bolton Wanderers."

While Coyle may yet lose the defender before the transfer window closes on Wednesday, he has strengthened his back line with the signing of Dedryck Boyata on a season-long loan from Manchester City, although the Belgium international is not available for the trip to Merseyside.

Coyle said: "I am delighted that we have completed the loan deal for Dedryck, because there was interest from a number of other clubs in taking him on loan."

Bolton will have to do without full-back Marcos Alonso as the Spaniard has been ruled out for eight to 12 weeks after breaking a metatarsal in the Carling Cup win over Macclesfield.

He joins Tyrone Mears (broken leg) and Sam Ricketts (Achilles) on the sidelines, but Gretar Steinsson could come into contention after suffering bruising to his foot against Manchester City.

Tuncay Sanli will hope to retain his starting role after scoring on his debut against Macclesfield in midweek.

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Topics:
#Tyrone Mears
#Internationals
#Tuncay Sanli
#Premier League
#Kenny Dalglish
#Phil Jagielka
#Sam Ricketts
#Gary Cahill
#Marcos Alonso
#Raul Meireles
#Samir Nasri
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