Pepe Reina has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent weeks, the club where it all started back in 1988. The Spanish international is now considered surplus to requirements at Anfield, after the summer arrival of Simon Mignolet at the club from Sunderland.
Reina is currently out on-loan with Napoli in Serie A - and is having an excellent season so far. With that in mind, his former club were believed to be monitoring his situation on Merseyside.
Barca are bracing themselves for the departure of their now legendary goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who will leave the Catalan club next summer when his contract expires.
Valdes wants to try out a new culture, after playing his entire career with Barca - and it is believed that AS Monaco is likely to be his destination.
But as much as Reina would have been excited at the prospect of a return to Barca, interestingly it appears as though Valdes is to be replaced by a German.
I say interesting, because when Valdes first got his spot as Barcelona’s number one it was at the loss of a talented German, the late Robert Enke.
Now it appears he is set to be replaced by a new young German talent, as Spanish reports suggest a deal for Marc Andre ter Stegen of Borussia Monchengladbach.
The 21-year-old is considered one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe, and Barca are now ready to give him a chance at becoming a world beater in Catalonia. Ter Stegen may be the number one at Monchengladbach, which could be a comfortable position for other goalkeepers.
But this 21-year-old lad wants to be Germany’s number one goalkeeper, and a move to Barca could help him leapfrog Bayern Munich stopper Manuel Neuer as his country’s number one.
For Reina, it is the second time the arrival of a German at Barca has prevented him of his Catalan dream. Reina left in 2002 when Enke arrived, as it became clear he was the FOURTH choice stopper behind Enke, Valdes and Argentine Roberto Bonano.
Napoli confirmed at the start of the month that they would not be keeping Reina at the end of the season - as they look to give Brazilian starlet Rafael the chance to cement his status as the clubs number one.
Leaving Reina in limbo next summer.
Where could Reina end up in 2014?
image: © Eric The Fish (2013)