Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina’s autobiography is released this week and looks set to be an explosive read.
In a serialisation in Sunday’s Daily Mail, the Spaniard reveals how he was on the verge of leaving Anfield three times, and how he became depressed at the situation under former owners Tom Hicks & George Gillett.
He also discusses how he hoped for local lads Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard speak out against the American duo.
Reina, 29, reveals how Arsenal bid £20m for him last summer and that he wanted the opportunity to speak to Arsene Wenger but was denied due to Hicks & Gillett seeing him as a key part of the sale process. He was also subject of a bid from Valencia – but was talked out of a move by his wife.
Speaking of last summer, after he returned from winning the World Cup with Spain, he said “I went from elation one minute to depression the next as the realisation dawned that Liverpool were going nowhere fast.
“When I signed my contract in April 2010 I hoped that better times were just around the corner, a feeling that was fuelled by the promises of improvement from people at the club.
“It didn’t take me long to feel that their promises were hollow. I felt betrayed. Our owners were at war with each other, the club’s debts were spiralling out of control and a change in manager had failed to dispel the feeling that we were on the road to nowhere.
“Arsenal had made their determination to sign me clear by offering £20m, a phenomenal amount for a goalkeeper. Part of me felt that I was well within my rights to consider my future even if I did so with a heavy heart.
“When Liverpool received the bid, they rejected it. This was not because I had been told that I was too good a keeper to leave. The reason I was given was quite different – and it left me feeling down. I was told that my continued presence was crucial to the sale of the club. I was simply a bargaining chip in the sales process.
“I still don’t know what to think of (former managing director, Christian) Purslow because I understand he was there to look for new owners and to try to sell the club but ultimately he was making big football decisions that he was not qualified to make.
“I was probably one of the loudest objectors because I believed it was important the supporters knew I was with them.
“All I wanted the owners to do was sell up to people who could take the club forward, so I said so.
“The way I saw it, Stevie and Carra are the two principle members of our squad, the ones who the people love and if they had said something maybe it would have put Hicks and Gillett under real pressure.
But in their view, it was more important to try to keep things as normal as possible.”