The list of Serie A players threatening to move MLS grows every week, but it would be unfair to accuse Alberto Aquilani of opportunistically hopping aboard the bandwagon that started rolling when Toronto FC decided to throw a bucket of cash at Sebastian Giovinco.
Aquilani has been linked to a US move for some time: there was chat about him joining NYC FC as far back as last summer. Back then, he was reportedly unhappy with a contract offer from present employer Fiorentina that proposed he take a pay cut.
Now Aquilani has a new problem: his contract is due to expire at the end of the current Serie A season, and Fiorentina does not appear to be interested in any further negotiation. In March, it was reported he'd had no contact with his club about renewing his deal. He's essentially a bench option these days: last season, he made 31 starts in Serie A; he has made 13 starts in the current league campaign (21 appearances in Serie A total, to date).
Aquilani will turn 31 this summer. His last international call-up was in November. He still has some gas in the tank, but he's approaching an age where the distinction between "out of contract" and "retired" is merely semantic. So he needs a new gig.
He also has a new agent, Andrea D'Amico, who is reportedly confident his client will find another club:
"I haven’t spoken to anyone, but I’m sure we’ll get a satisfactory outcome, a high-level project, whether that’s in Italy or abroad."
And also, as it happens, has a positive impression of MLS:
"MLS, where Giovinco now plays will soon become an important League, with all the multimedia communication which we’ve neglected."
There it is: Alberto Aquilani looks to be in need of a new job, and the man who is responsible for finding it thinks MLS is on the rise.
No specific club is mentioned, not even old favorite, NYC FC. But if the pale blue tenants of Yankee Stadium continue to struggle, they will likely see their rumor-mill profile grow rather rapidly. Problems and the money to resolve them make for fertile ground for transfer rumors.
In the short-term, we can assume this means Colorado Rapids will shortly announce they are not offering Aquilani a contract, since denying rumors that few realized they were caught up in is an emerging strength for the Rapids.