Napoli snub permanent deal - what next for Liverpool outcast?

Pepe Reina

Napoli are reportedly set to end their interest in signing Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina on a permanent basis.

Reina, 31, was a terrific servant for Liverpool ever since his 2005 switch from Villarreal, making almost 400 appearances for the Reds as the clear first choice goalkeeper at Anfield for eight seasons. But when Reds boss Brendan Rodgers moved to snap up Sunderland shot stopper Simon Mignolet, it meant the end for Reina on Merseyside.

At the time, it was strongly rumoured that Reina would return to former club Barcelona as a replacement for Victor Valdes, but it was eventually Italian side Napoli who signed the Spanish international, reuniting with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez in the process.

Unsurprisingly, Reina has been the clear first choice at the Stadio San Paolo, starting most of the club's Serie A games this season. But despite Reina's importance this season, he is only on loan in Italy and now it seems that Napoli are unsure whether to make it permanent.

Their indecision reportedly comes down to fears over Reina's wage demands, with Italian press suggesting that Napoli are now unwilling to pay what Reina wants to move to the club permanently.

After all, not only did Napoli sign Reina last summer but they also landed Brazilian starlet Rafael from Santos, which indicated that the signing of the Liverpool stopper was simply a stop-gap purchase in order to eventually give Rafael the first team spot.

If this is the case, it leaves Reina back in the wilderness. A Liverpool return seems unlikely, and his other avenue out of Anfield - Barcelona - doesn't seem to be an option with the impending capture of Borussia Monchendgladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

With such a great career so far it's hard to see there being no team willing to take a chance on Reina, but right now, his future looks bleak at best.

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