Goalkeeper Pepe Reina is set to leave Liverpool this summer and will sign a 2 year contract at Barcelona, according to reports.
Speaking on Sky Sports Spanish football show Revista De La Liga on Tuesday, journalist Guillem Balague said that Reina will sign a two-year deal with Barcelona this summer.
While BBC Sport journalist Ben Smith wrote via twitter that it was “no secret that LFC [are] quietly looking to off-load Reina”.
— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) May 7, 2013
This follows a report from Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo on Sunday that claimed a £10m fee had been agreed with Liverpool.
Reina, 30, signed for Liverpool from Villareal 8 years ago and has made almost 400 appearances for the club.
Reina graduated from Barca’s famed La Masia academy before departing the Catalans in 2002 but has been heavily linked with a return since Victor Valdes signalled his intentions to leave Camp Nou this summer.
Earlier this year, his father Miguel told Spanish radio:
“I am absolutely convinced Pepe would be more than delighted to return to his Barcelona, where they made him into an upstanding man from the time he arrived at the age of 12 until he left.
“I say it publicly: I would be delighted to see Pepe back at Barca, of course I would. What father would not like to see his son at Barca? He has already been there but to return would be extraordinary. ‘Pepe has shown sufficient proof of the calibre of goalkeeper he is and right now – and sorry for the lack of modesty – he would be up to the task and the ideal keeper for FC Barcelona.”
Despite some questions over his form, Reina would still be seen as a huge loss by supporters. Another top class, experienced player leaving the club. And another huge character leaving in the same summer that the club loses Jamie Carragher.
The Guardian write on Wednesday that reports of a deal being agreed are “premature” and that “Brendan Rodgers keen to retain the 30-year-old who has adapted well to his playing style after a difficult start. Reina too has recently stated that he expects to be at Anfield next season.”
End of Rafa’s Legacy
Should Reina leave, and Martin Skrtel as expected, only Steven Gerrard would remain from the Liverpool team that beat Real Madrid 4-0 in 2009:
Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard, Babel, Torres.