Liverpool fans got a bit excited yesterday when Corriere dello Sport reported that Jurgen Klopp is interested in bringing Pepe Reina back to Liverpool.
Supporters realise that the 33-year-old probably isn’t the same goalkeeper that spent eight seasons at the club and made 394 appearances but there's no doubt the Spaniard was a fan favourite at Anfield.
Even if he wasn’t going to play regularly, his leadership and understanding of the club would be welcome on Merseyside.
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However, just as Liverpool fans were starting to imagine Reina back between the sticks for their club next season, the ‘keeper’s father has dismissed the speculation.
Miguel, who was also a goalkeeper for Cordoba, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Spain, has insisted that a return to Liverpool is just “rumours” and that he is happy at Napoli.
Reina's father's dismisses Liverpool talk
“We do not talk about the market in the family, we are not aware of the interest of Barcelona or other teams,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“Liverpool? There is nothing, just rumours. The great affection that Pepe has for the Napoli is known.”
So, that’s that then. Reina won’t be returning to Liverpool this summer.
Not desperate for a goalkeeper
While Kopites will be disappointed that they won’t be seeing a former hero return, it’s not as though they are desperate for a new goalkeeper.
Klopp has already announced the signing of Loris Karius for £4.7 million and he is expected to rival Simon Mignolet to be the regular first-team ‘keeper.
The 22-year-old arrives from Mainz with a growing reputation, being voted Bundesliga’s second best goalkeeper last season - behind Manuel Neuer who is regarded as the best stopper in the world.
It was believed that a move for Reina could see the experienced ‘keeper tutor Karius in an attempt to help him fulfil his potential.
But, after playing in 37 out of 38 league appearances for Napoli last season, it seems as though Reina will remain in Italy where he helped his side finish second in Serie A.
After signing for Liverpool from Villarreal in 2005, Reina soon became a favourite among fans after being the hero in the penalty shootout during the FA Cup final in his debut campaign.
He was bailed out by Steven Gerrard for two mistakes during the 90 minutes but made penalty saves from Bobby Zamora, Paul Konchesky and Anton Ferdinand in the shoot-out which saw Reina go down in history.
During his time at the club, he broke the record for the most clean sheets, surpassing the previous tally set by Ray Clemence and Bruce Grobbelaar. But after Rafa Benitez left and Brendan Rodgers arrived, Simon Mignolet was chosen to be the side’s first-choice ‘keeper meaning Reina was free to leave the club.
He reunited with Benitez during a loan spell at Napoli before signing for Bayern Munich. However, he only spent one year in Germany and rarely featured, struggling to get ahead of Manuel Neuer in the pecking order.
But he returned to Napoli on a three-year deal last summer where it appears he will remain next season.
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