Aquilani set for Reds medical

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Football News

Midfielder Alberto Aquilani's medical later on Thursday could prove to be a pivotal point in his career and Liverpool's future.

Manager Rafael Benitez has identified the Italy international as the ideal replacement for Xabi Alonso, who completed his £30million move to Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Liverpool and Roma have already agreed a fee, believed to be in the region of £20million, but the 25-year-old must now pass the physical examination.

That will not be as straightforward as it might as the player, who made only 14 league appearances last season, has not played since Roma crashed out of the Champions League against Arsenal on March 11.

He underwent surgery on his right ankle in May but must prove he is over the injury if Liverpool are to justify spending two-thirds of their income from the Alonso deal.

"Alberto is a very good player and I'm delighted we've reached agreement with Roma for his transfer," said Benitez, who has been an admirer of the player for some time.

"Alberto has a winning mentality and great experience in both Serie A and the Champions League.

"He has long been recognised as a top-class talent in Italy, captaining his country at both Under-19 and Under-21 levels before establishing himself in the senior national side."

The Aquilani purchase and Alonso sale have been running in tandem for some weeks.

Once the Alonso deal was completed, and the first instalment of the fee banked, Liverpool were able to finalise the deal for Aquilani.

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