Hodgson hails Reina “lifeblood of the team”

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has hailed goalkeeper Pepe Reina as the “lifeblood of the team”, playing down speculation linking him with a January transfer window move to arch rivals Manchester Utd.

Newspaper speculation recently has suggested that Reina is getting increasingly frustrated at the team’s lack of form and lack of investment in new players.

Reports this week claimed Man Utd boss Alex Ferguson is weighing up a big bid for the Spanish international goalkeeper.

But Hodgson laughed off the claims, saying, ‘’It was just one of those stories that seems to occur – it’s just disappointing and annoying.

‘’Pepe is fantastic here, he is a lifeblood of this team.

‘’Everything he does around the club is excellent – he is always lively in the dressing room, he is always first class in training and he always wants to do more to improve.

‘’He demands better from those around him, he is always pushing people on. He is a player who we hold in the highest esteem.

‘’We have heard nothing from Manchester United and, more to the point, we don’t want to hear anything from Manchester United.

‘’If Ferguson is looking around at the end of the season and he has got lots of money to replace Edwin van der Sar, he might very well want Pepe Reina because he is the best around.

‘’But we do not want to sell him. I would like to think that we are going to become a successful club once again and Pepe is crucial to that.’’