KENNY DALGLISH has opened the door for Alberto Aquilani to return to Liverpool this summer, insisting the midfielder could still have a key role to play at Anfield.
The Italian international has spent the season on loan at Juventus, who are keen to make the move permanent.
However, the Serie A outfit aren’t willing to pay 16million euros (£14million), which was the purchase option they negotiated with the Reds last August.
Unless a deal is struck, Aquilani will return to Melwood for pre-season training – and Dalglish says the 26-year-old would be welcomed.
“When people talk about next season, I’m surprised they don’t give Alberto a mention,” he said. “Everyone seems to have forgotten about him.
“I know he has done really well at Juventus this season. When the loan finishes at the end of the season, he reverts back to being a Liverpool player.
“Nothing is cast in stone and he could be coming back to play for Liverpool. He could be a valuable asset here next season. He’s still our player.”
Aquilani was bought by Rafa Benitez from Roma for £17.1million in August 2009 as a replacement for Xabi Alonso and signed a five-year deal.
However, a serious ankle injury meant it was late October before he played.
He struggled with the physical demands of the Premier League and fitness problems limited him to 13 starts and 13 substitute appearances.
Aquilani played in both legs of the Europa League qualifier against FK Rabotnicki at the start of this season but it was no surprise when he was off-loaded to Juventus.
Dalglish has been impressed by the form Aquilani has shown in 29 league appearances for Juve this season, which have earned him a recall to the Italy side.
“He certainly didn’t have the best of luck last season,” Dalglish added.
“At times he did really well and at other times he didn’t do quite so well but you can say that about most players. What I do know is that he’s had a fantastic season at Juventus.”
Meanwhile, FC Copenhagen are keen on snapping up Reds midfielder Christian Poulsen this summer.
The 31-year-old, who was signed by Roy Hodgson for £4.5million from Juventus last August, has has made just nine league starts for the Reds.
Poulsen has been told his Denmark career will be over unless he gets regular first team football.