AC Milan have found their left-sided midfielder.
AC Milan's official website released the following statement:
A.C. Milan are pleased to announce the arrival of Alberto Aquilani on loan from Liverpool FC. The current deal, which includes an option to buy, will end on 30 June 2014.
The 27-year-old Italian began his career at Roma, where he made quite a bit of noise. After seven years at the club, he made the move to English giants Liverpool in 2009.
Aqua never got the chance to impress, he appeared only 18 times for the club in his first season, and was loaned out last year to Juventus. Aquilani made 33 appearances, but the spending spree that Juventus went on this summer meant Aquilani was not in the cards.
Upon his return to Anfield the club made it clear that he was not in their plans, though this met with disapproval from many fans. He has been on the market all summer, with Fiorentina and Milan most interested in his services.
For Fiorentina, he was seen as a potential replacement to Riccardo Montolivo. For weeks it seemed apparent that the Viola captain would leave for Milan, and a fallout with the club prompted the withdrawal of his captaincy. Despite the clear intentions to leave, Fiorentina laughed off the attempts of Milan to gain his services, and decided he would finish out the final year of his contract.
That put the ball in Milan's court in terms of landing Aquilani. When the Montolivo deal fell through, it seemed inevitable that Milan would pursue a move.
Finally this week they reached out to John Henry, Kenny Dalglish, and company.
The deal is very similar to the one which brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the San Siro. As mentioned above, the player already has a contract through 2014 with Milan, though is on loan officially this season. At the end of this season, assuming he makes 25 appearances, Milan will buy his services fully. This will likely be the outcome.
Milan have added the talent they need at the midfield position. For too long the Rossoneri have been relying on Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, and Clarence Seedorf. Players that in their glory days brought Milan eternal European glory, but are now well beyond their best days.
Aquilani will start with Kevin-Prince Boateng in the midfield, if Massimiliano Allegri holds true and moves the Ghanaian to the central midfield from the trequartista role. Robinho or Antonio Cassano will assume the trequartista position. There is plenty of time to figure it all out.
With the player's strike having already postponed week one of Serie A, Milan do not play until September 11th against Lazio, though this game may possibly be switched to September 10th. Milan have to travel to Spain for a match on Tuesday the 13th with FC Barcelona, in the first Group Stage match of the Champions League.
It appeared earlier that Milan were done in the transfer window, but with a couple days left and today's announcement that Mathieu Flamini will miss five months, Milan may pursue another midfielder. A recent name that has popped up is that of Cesena midfielder Marco Parolo.