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Aquilani completes transfer to Liverpool

  • Story Highlights
  • Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani has agreed a five-year contract with Liverpool
  • The Italian international signs for around $29 million after passing his medical
  • Aquilani replaces Xabi Alonso at Liverpool after Spaniard moved to Real Madrid
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(CNN) -- Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani has passed his medical and agreed a five-year contract with English Premier League Liverpool.

Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani has completed his move to Liverpool as a replacement for Xabi Alonso.

Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani has completed his move to Liverpool as a replacement for Xabi Alonso.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez identified Italian international Aquilani as his preferred replacement for Xabi Alonso, who joined Real Madrid for around $50 million earlier this week.

Liverpool had a bid of around $29 million for Aquilani accepted by Serie A side Roma on Wednesday before the player headed to Merseyside for a medical and contract talks.

The 25-year-old is expected to be at Anfield on Saturday to witness his new team-mates take on Atletico Madrid in the club's final pre-season friendly before next weekend's Premier League kick-off. Latest transfer rumors and gossip

Aquilani's arrival alleviates fears over the ankle injury that needed surgery this summer and restricted his appearances for Roma last season.

But considering he has only just returned to training, it seems unlikely he will be fit to face Tottenham next Sunday in the opening match at White Hart Lane.

Meanwhile, in other transfer news, English Premier League side Aston Villa have signed defender Habib Beye from relegated Newcastle on a three-year contract.

The 31-year-old Senegal international right-back has signed a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee -- and joins England international Stewart Downing and teenage sensation Fabian Delph as Villa manager Martin O'Neill's new signings this summer.

Beye told the club's official Web site: "I think Villa are a great club. I was really happy when my agent told me Villa were interested.

"It's going to be great working for Martin O'Neill. It was important for me to stay in the Premier League and I am really happy I could do that with Villa, " Beye added.

Beye becomes the latest player to leave Newcastle following their relegation. The likes of Michael Owen (Manchester United), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg), Mark Viduka and Sebastien Bassong (Tottenham) have all departed St James' Park this summer.

All About Alberto AquilaniRafael BenitezXabi AlonsoLiverpool FCAS RomaEuropean FootballItalyUnited Kingdom

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