Liverpool Agree with Fiorentina on £7 Million Fee for Alberto Aquilani

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2012

HULL, ENGLAND - MAY 9:  Alberto Aquilani of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Liverpool at the KC Stadium on May 9, 2010 in Hull, England. (Photo by Jed Leicester/Getty Images)
Jed Leicester/Getty Images

Alberto Aquilani's nightmare spell at Liverpool appears to be nearing an end.

The BBC is reporting that the Reds have agreed to a fee with Fiorentina on a permanent transfer of the Italian midfielder.

Over the past couple of seasons, Liverpool had been holding out for a transfer of Aquilani in the range of £14 million. Time and again, though, the club has been rebuffed by potential suitors for Aquilani.

Finally, Liverpool's resolve has broken down

The Daily Mail is reporting that the potential fee between Fiorentina and Liverpool is only £7 million.

There have been numerous rumors over the summer about whether or not Aquilani would remain a Liverpool player come September. No matter the speculation regarding his featuring in the squad this year, it was always very likely that the midfielder would be sold at some point this summer.

Much like his predecessors, new manager Brendan Rodgers doesn't figure the midfielder into the Reds' plans.

Ever since joining Liverpool in 2009 for £17 million, Aquilani has largely been a disappointment.

Some of the blame for Aquilani's time at Anfield should fall on Benitez Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson. Benitez hardly played Aquilani when he reached full fitness. Dalglish and Hodgson sent Aquilani out on loan when they were unable to sell him outright.

Cutting ties with the midfielder now is the right decision for both club and player.

The £7 million Liverpool would receive allows Rodgers a little more wiggle room in the transfer market. More importantly, the club would be able to get his £6-million-a-year wages off the books.

It's these types of inflated contracts that have helped to cripple the club's finances over the past few seasons.

For Aquilani, he has never seemed comfortable at Liverpool and a permanent return to Italy will help him get back in that comfort zone.

Immediately upon news of the transfer becoming official, many supporters were questioning the sum that Rafael Benitez spent.

Also working against Aquilani was the fact that he was looked upon as the replacement for Xabi Alonso. Alonso was the engine that led Liverpool to their second-place Premier League finish in 2008/09.

The Spanish midfielder is a club legend, so it was never going to be easy for Aquilani to be the guy to take his place.

When he first arrived in the summer of 2009, Aquilani was carrying an injury that kept him out until October. The £17 million fee became a noose that tightened with each week, that Aquilani was unable to play.

Then when he did get healthy, Benitez sat him on the bench seemingly every week. It was all the more confounding since when Aquilani appeared in a match, he played well.

It was a situation that mirrored Robbie Keane's time with the Reds.

Aquilani's time on loan in Italy showed that he still has plenty of quality as well. He played well at Juventus and AC Milan when he was on loan during the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons.

However, it was unlikely that he would ever reach that level at Liverpool, no matter how much he was featured.