Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Pepe Reina is fully aware of his plans and that Simon Mignolet is arriving as competition for the Spanish goalkeeper.
Rodgers was speaking to radio station TalkSport on Saturday afternoon when he explained that Reina is “fully aware” of his plans and that the two went for a meal a few months ago when the manager explained that he would targeting a goalkeeper this summer to give him competition.
“Pepe Reina and I went out for a meal a couple of months before the end of the season and I told him exactly what we were going to do, which was to provide real competition in that area.
“He was fully aware of my intention of the course of the last few months. It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to Pepe.
“Pepe is a fantastic goalkeeper but Simon Mignolet is a player that has done really well.
“He’s also part of an emerging Belgium squad that has come into a golden era. He’s very much a part of that.
“When you work with Pepe he’s a great man. A very committed man to the club and he’s an outstanding goalkeeper.”
Rodgers has previously explained his desire for three goalkeepers in his squad.
Of course, Rodgers confirming the Mignolet deal and claiming that he wants to bring in the Belgian as competition for Reina does not necessarily mean that will happen. No manager is going to admit that Reina is being allowed to leave and thus put the bidding club in a stronger bargaining position. Rodgers denied that Andy Carroll would be leaving last summer.
Likewise, the likelihood of Mignolet joining Liverpool to be reserve keeper a year before the World Cup seems remote. His agent Nico Vaesen was recently quoted explaining “He [Mignolet] is very ambitious and wants to play in the World Cup, in Brazil, next year.”
Add in that Brad Jones signed a new “long-term” contract in December and that Liverpool aren’t in Europe next season either and again the likelihood of keeping Reina and signing Mignolet seems slim. Can you name any club with a £10m reserve keeper, who aren’t in Europe?! Rodgers’ words should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Rodgers was also quizzed on the Luis Suarez situation, to which he said he was “relaxed” about it.
Rodgers also praised fellow new signings Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas.