Football

Brendan Rodgers: Pepe Reina won't leave to join Arsenal or Barcelona

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Reina in action for Liverpool (©GettyImages)
Reina in action for Liverpool (©GettyImages).

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has moved to dismiss rumours linking goalkeeper Pepe Reina with a move away from Merseyside.

Reina's inconsistency this season has prompted speculation he could be on his way out of Anfield in the summer.

The Spaniard has been linked with a move back to Barcelona, while Arsenal are also said to be interested.

Arsenal's usual number one Wojciech Szczęsny was dropped for their Champions League last-16 2nd leg tie against Bayern Munich last month, and the Polish international has since failed to win back his spot from understudy Lukasz Fabianski.

That has prompted speculation he could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium in the summer, with Reina believed to be on the Gunners' shortlist of goalkeeper replacements.

However Rodgers has moved to dismiss the speculation surrounding Reina, insisting he will still be with Liverpool next season.

"He's never been unsettled and our relationship is very strong," he told reporters. "I have given him and a few of the senior boys real responsibility and I think they have enjoyed that.

"I see him as someone who is going to be here. He is 30 years of age and is someone who looks after his body. The sports science team this year have worked really well with him.

"I think he's been outstanding and had great focus and hopefully that will continue for us."

Barcelona are believed to be keeping an eye on Reina ahead of a potential summer move, with first-choice stopper Victor Valdes said to have turned down the offer of a contract extension which could spell the end of his time at the Camp Nou.

Reina spent the early part of his career with the Catalan club before eventually working his way to Liverpool.

"Pepe and I speak a lot," Rodgers continued. "He's a good man and I've got real respect for him as a player and as a human being.

"He understands everything we are trying to do here and is a great voice in the little debriefing meetings we have with the group and with the defenders and other goalkeepers. He's brilliant.

"And on a personal level we'll sit and have a cup of tea in the office and we'll chat about where he's at with his game and how he can improve."

Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Jose Reina
Premier League
Liverpool
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