Alberto Aquilani failed to seal a return to Italian football

Alberto Aquilani failed to seal a return to Italian football after the rumours about a move to Sampdoria did not materialise.

The former Roma and Liverpool midfielder has been playing with Portuguese club Sporting CP, but it has been strongly hinted that he wants a return to top-level European football. Despite the Portuguese league being competitive, it does not match up with the likes of the Italian Serie A in terms of profile. Still just 31 years of age, Aquilani will believe that he is seeking what could possibly be his last time at a major club in Italy.

The player has scored four goals in four appearances for the Portuguese outfit this season. His biggest disappointment may stem from the fact that Sporting are not playing in the Champions League. They have had only been able to give two appearances for Aquilani in the Champions League before dropping back into the Europa League.

Aquilani’s agent has confirmed that the player has been given the opportunity to return to Sampdoria, but he was not going to start any rumours just yet. This is because Sporting are extremely happy with the player and want to retain him for the rest of the season.

The club are in contention to win the Europa League, which will give them a direct spot in the Champions League group stages next season."It was a chance in case Barreto would have gone to Fiorentina. But Sporting want to keep him because they are top of Portuguese league and they still are in the Europa League.There are really small chances for him to go to Sampdoria, I don't want to create any speculation,” said D'Amico. Unusually leading the table, Sporting are in with a shout to win the league title for the first time since the 2001-02 season.