Liverpool outcast Reina lined up for permanent Napoli switch

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Liverpool outcast Pepe Reina could be set to depart the club on a permanent basis this summer, with Napoli seemingly keen to keep him in Italy beyond the end of his current loan deal.

Reina has enjoyed a successful stint at Napoli since leaving the Reds on a season-long loan deal last summer and it appears as if the Serie A outfit are interested in securing his long-term future.

"Reina is a very important player both on the field and off. At the end of the season we will talk with him and Liverpool, we are interested to hold him here," Sports director Riccardo Bigon said in an interview that was quoted by Sky Sports.

31-year-old Reina worked with Napoli manager Rafael Benitez for several years at Liverpool, with Bigon pointing to this as a potentially key factor behind the move.

"He has been fine in Naples, he has a very close relationship with the coach (Rafa Benitez) and also his family has settled very well."

While Reina performed admirably over several seasons for Liverpool both domestically and on the European stage, it seems rather unlikely that he will be denied the opportunity to leave Anfield and further his career elsewhere.

Having been replaced by Belgian international Simon Mignolet as the club's number one 'stopper prior to the start of the 2013/14 campaign, it became increasingly evident that Reina had become somewhat surplus to requirements under Rodgers.

Obviously too good to warm the bench as a back-up option, Reina - who reportedly has a £4.1 million release clause in his contract at Liverpool - appears to have thrived under Benitez once again in Serie A.

Since moving to the Stadio San Paolo, Reina has made 28 domestic appearances as Napoli have aimed to secure a top-four berth.

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Jose Reina
Premier League

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