Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed that the Serie A club have been priced out of making their loan move for goalkeeper Pepe Reina permanent.
Reina spent the 2013/14 campaign on-loan at the Stadio San Paolo after being ousted from his spot as Liverpool goalkeeper by the signing of Simon Mignolet last summer.
In an interview with radio station talkSPORT, Benitez confirmed that Reina will return to Anfield.
“Pepe has two years left on his contract at Liverpool,” he said. “He has to go back and he’ll stay there. We can’t afford Pepe’s wages.
“The Premier League is a very big league and, in Serie A, we don’t pay big wages like in England. He will have to fight for his position at Liverpool.”
31-year-old Reina, who is currently in Brazil on international duty with Spain, recently admitted he was unsure of his future following the end of his loan spell in Italy.
“Right now I’m only thinking of La Roja,” Reina said to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser last month, with quotes picked up by The Independent.
“With regards to a new club, I will first have to speak to Liverpool.
“My season on loan at Napoli has been very positive and I thank the Napoli people and the club.”
“I will return to be a Liverpool player but I think I’m not in the coaching plans.”
Reina was the first choice keeper at Anfield for eight years after being signed by Benitez from Spanish side Villarreal in 2005. He made 395 appearances for the club.
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