Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers revealed he allowed Pepe Reina to leave on loan to give the 'keeper the best opportunity to play first team football.

Reina's future has been the subject of speculation since the £9m signing of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. 

Reports had linked the Spanish international with moves to Barcelona and Arsenal amongst others, as Mignolet believed he had signed to be the first choice at Anfield.

He is now on the verge of reuniting with former manager Rafa Benitez at Serie A outfit Napoli on a season-long loan.

Rodgers has admitted that he expected an offer to come in for the World Cup winner that would see him leave Merseyside on a permanent basis but no club was forthcoming. He now believes the move is best for all parties.

He told Sky Sports: "It was obviously a difficult decision. From last season I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe that would probably see him leave the club.

"That found us Simon Mignolet, who is top class - one of the top young European goalkeepers.

"As events transpired, that move (for Reina) didn't happen and it left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the No.1 position."

Rodgers also insisted that Reina has not been forced out of the club and says Reina feels a move gives him the best chance to secure a place at next summer's World Cup.

He added: "An opportunity arose for Pepe and it was one we felt as a football club was best for him to take.

"As a senior goalkeeper, he needs to be playing. It's a very important year for him with the World Cup next year. It wouldn't have served any purpose, both for the club and him personally, if he'd been the one missing out.

"It's decided he will go to Napoli and we've got two very good goalkeepers still at the football club."

Premier League
Jose Reina