Brendan Rodgers tones down rumors of Pepe Reina’s Liverpool exit
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has been strongly linked with a move Barcelona for the past year. Rumor about Pepe Reina’s potential transfer to Nou Camp has been in the air for over a year now, although Barcelona hasn’t come up with an official bid for the Spanish shot-stopper.
The summer transfer window encases rumors about Pepe Reina’s transfer once again, but this time round Barcelona are more keen on acquiring his services. The imminent exit of their first-team goalkeeper Victor Valdes has put the La Liga champions on the hunt for a new goalkeeper.
Reports suggest Pepe Reina is on top of the list since the 30-year-old Spain international was trained at the Barcelona youth academy when he was young. Rumors about Pepe Reina’s exit from Anfield have been further fueled by Liverpool signing up Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
The 25-year-old Belgian international is considered to be a talented shot-stopper, who has the potential to become a star one day. Brendan Rodgers will surely handover sufficient chances for the youngster to prove his worth at the club even though Pepe Reina has been in the first-team for over half a decade now.
Liverpool are reportedly buying Simon Mignolet for £9 million, a price Brendan Rodgers is willing to pay to create more competition within his squad. Pepe Reina’s lack of form from last season has forced Brendan Rodgers to put the Spaniard under pressure. It will be interesting to see who assumes position between the sticks when the new season begins, but for Pepe Reina is still hot-favorite for the first-team role.
“One of the things we're trying to build is a competitive squad,” Brendan Rodgers told the Daily Express in an interview on Tuesday. “Our squad was very thin last year. It's very important we have competition in every position and that wasn't always the case.
“Pepe 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.
“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. Pepe is a very committed man and an outstanding goalkeeper.”
Losing Pepe Reina to Barcelona could anger a large section of Liverpool supporters; since Pepe Reina is considered to one of the favorite son of the Kop. Often hailed as a true Red, Pepe Reina has been a fan favorite at Anfield for years. The former Villareal player is considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in Liverpool’s history.