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Liverpool ready to celebrate £17M Aquilani coup

Liverpool are ready to close a deal for Roma star Alberto Aquilani. The Independent says Liverpool expect to close the deal for Roma's £17m midfielder Aquilani in the next week after finally agreeing to Xabi Alonso's £30m departure to Real Madrid yesterday. The contract for Aquiliani has been in place for some time and the move can now go ahead after weeks of brinkmanship over Alonso.

Aquilani, 25, has long been his first choice as a replacement and Roma's financial difficulties have allowed Liverpool to take advantage. One of the fans' homegrown favourites at Roma - along with Francesco Totti and Daniele de Rossi - his signing is something of a coup given that he plays for a club that has been resistant to selling their best players.

The midfielder can play in the role formerly occupied by Alonso alongside Javier Mascherano in the pairing that operates in front of the back four.

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