Pepe Reina to join Napoli on loan

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Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is set to join Serie A side Napoli on a season’s long loan.

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It was thought the Reds would look to sell Reina this summer after signing Belgian international goalkeeper Simon Mignolet last month.

However, the Reds will send Reina out on a season’s long loan to Napoli where he will be reunited with his former Reds boss Rafa Benitez.

Phil McNulty of BBC Sport writes:

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez moved swiftly for his fellow Spaniard and former number one during his spell at Anfield after failing in his bid to sign Julio Cesar from QPR.

The loan move, as opposed to a permanent transfer, inevitably sets Reina up for a return to Barcelona next summer, with Victor Valdes about to embark on his final season at the Nou Camp.

As for Liverpool, they will be lowering their wage bill significantly by sending Reina on loan.

Manager Brendan Rodgers had claimed that the signing of Mignolet would bring about competition in the goalkeeper’s position at the club.

However, the Metro report today that Reina was not content to play second fiddle:

According to suggestions in the Spanish press, Reina was agitated by the decision to bring in Mignolet, and then asked to leave when he was informed that the Belgian would be starting the season as Liverpool’s new number one.

Reina was signed in 2005 by Benitez to replace Polish goalkeeper, and a hero of Istanbul, Jerzy Dudek. After 8 years at the club and 395 appearances, it looks as if the Spanish international has played his final game for the Reds.

Best of luck, Pepe. Thanks for everything.

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