LIVERPOOL hope they can finally offload Alberto Aquilani back to Serie A after telling the Italian he is not wanted by Brendan Rodgers.
Aquilani did not return to Merseyside with the rest of the Liverpool squad when they flew home from their North America tour on Saturday. Instead, he headed to Rome to see if a deal could be struck with one of a number Serie A sides, including, it is thought, Fiorentina.
The 28 year-old, who cost Liverpool £20million in 2009, now realises there is little chance of him reviving his career at Anfield, but selling him will not be easy because of his huge wages.
The Italian's contract equates to around £6.5m a year, an expense which has been reduced in recent seasons thanks to loan deals.
He spent last year at AC Milan and has also been loaned to Juventus. To put the figures into perspective, the £125,000 a week he currently costs Liverpool is double what Anfield stalwart Jamie Carragher earns.
Rodgers hopes that the desire to revive his career will motivate Aquilani to seek pastures new and reduce Liverpool's massive wage bill. Aquilani still has two years of a five-year contract remaining.
Rodgers left Aquilani out of the last tour game, a 0-0 draw with Tottenham in Baltimore, before giving him permission to fly to Italy.
But Liverpool are unlikely to raise more than a nominal fee for Aquilani's services.
While Rodgers hopes Aquilani will move on, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre is finalising a deal for Swansea's Joe Allen.
Ayre cancelled his trip to America to join the club tour in order to continue talks with the Welsh club. Liverpool can seal a deal with a £15m bid, but have been trying to negotiate a smaller fee.