Arsenal must sign Pepe Reina from Liverpool

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Liverpool outcast Pepe Reina could be the perfect solution for Arsenal and their goalkeeping troubles.

Cast your minds back to the summer of 2010, when Manchester United were carefree under Sir Alex Ferguson's management and Carlo Ancelotti had just won the double with Chelsea.

One thing Arsenal and Liverpool fans remember in particular are the reports that Arsene Wenger had done something that defied belief at the time. He launched a highly unorthodox £20 million bid for the best goalkeeper in the Premier League at the time, Pepe Reina.

The Spaniard had been a revelation at Anfield and was well on his way to becoming one of Europe's best shot stoppers. Arsenal, who were highly restricted financially at the time, gave him the biggest compliment of all by launching such a huge bid.

But Liverpool rejected it out of hand - what a mistake that seems now.

Fast forward four years and that very same goalkeeper is now facing a summer of uncertainty. Liverpool are desperate to sell but, as of yet, no club has offered him a chance. Even Napoli - a club who agreed to loan him last summer - do not seem to be interested.

The Spain international seemed perfect for Barcelona after they lost Victor Valdes, but they opted for a young and less proven individual in Marc-Andre ter Stegen. So not only are Liverpool desperate to sell him, but Reina is growing more and more desperate to find a club that actually wants him.

Recently he told reporters: 'With regards to a new club, I will first have to speak to Liverpool.

"My season on loan at Napoli has been very positive and I thank the Napoli people and the club.

"With Barcelona there is nothing, they have just acquired (German goalkeeper) Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, hence they have that role covered.

"I haven't had any contact either with Atletico Madrid, I think they will do all they can to keep (Thibaut) Courtois.

"I will return to be a Liverpool player but I think I'm not in the coaching plans." 

For a goalkeeper once commanding club record bids from the Gunners, it is quite an impressive demise. But now Arsenal are in a position of strength. They have more money and a greater need than ever for an experienced goalkeeper.

After the departure of Lukasz Fabianski, Wenger has been left with just one recognised goalkeeper in the form of Wojciech Szczesny. He could just sign a backup goalkeeper and hope the Pole doesn't succumb to injury, but if he wants Szczesny to fulfil his potential, Wenger will renew his interest in Reina.

With no real competition, Szczesny won't have to impetus to improve and his development will stall. With Reina in the side, he will be forced to work hard or risk losing his place.

In terms of a transfer, Arsenal can approach from a strong position. Reina has just one-year left on his contract and has a clause in it which allows him to void the final year for £4.5m. So Liverpool would have little choice but to accept a similar offer from Arsenal - less than 25 per cent of what they offered four years ago.

Reina also seems at a loose end. No club seems willing to take him and the chance to be under rotation at the Emirates Stadium is better than spending the entire season on Liverpool's bench or on another temporary contract somewhere in Europe.

His current £90,000-a-week wages would be negotiable meaning the whole transfer deal could be a bargain for Arsenal and a good deal for all involved. 

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Jose Reina

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