Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has defended his decision to loan goalkeeper Pepe Reina to Napoli, as it fits in with his idea of evolving the first-team squad.

The Spaniard has seen competition for his place increase already this summer, with Simon Mignolet being signed for £11million from Sunderland, and he will re-unite with his former Reds boss Rafael Benitez.

Rodgers has already seen through the sales of Andy Carroll to West Ham United and Jonjo Shelvey to Swansea City so far this summer, and the retirement of Jamie Carragher has also contributed to a re-shaping of the first-team squad, as Kolo Toure, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto have also been signed.

The 40-year-old said at a press conference: "It’s my decision.

"Last year I had to make decisions in pre-season for the financial stability of the club and that’s something I’ve obviously had to do this year as well.

"Financially, it is something we needed to look at. I had a good chat with Pepe the other day and he knows where it’s at. 

"It reared its head over the last few months and I had to prepare for it by bringing in another goalkeeper anyway."

But the Northern Irishman did not rule out Reina having a future at Anfield, as he currently has three years left on his contract. 

Rodgers cited the opportunity to play for Spain at next year's World Cup as a reason for loaning him to the Serie A club.

"Pepe is a good guy and I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s been a real pillar for me in terms of how I want to operate," he said.

"But he’s got a big season ahead because it’s a World Cup year and one where, if he wasn’t going to be playing, that could severely harm his chances of going to the World Cup. We both understand that."

Reina joined the Merseyside club in 2005 from Villarreal, and has gone on to make 394 appearances in his time there.


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