Liverpool goalkeeper will return to club after loan spell in Italy - Benitez

Rafa Benitez has said that Pepe Reina will return to his parent club this summer.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has said that goalkeeper Pepe Reina will return to Merseyside this summer, with the possible aim of fighting for his place in the Reds side.

Reina spent last season on loan in Serie A with Benitez at Napoli, with Brendan Rodgers having signed Simon Mignolet from Sunderland last summer. 

Rodgers has been quoted saying that he would like Mignolet to be his number one at Anfield for a number of years, but it seems as though Reina is destined for a return to Anfield.

Benitez told TalkSport this morning: "Pepe has two years left on his contract at Liverpool.

“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.”

Given Reina's sizeable wage packet, it is hard to see Liverpool tolerate a player who is sitting on the bench for most of the season bench being allowed such a lucrative deal.

It has been widely reported that the Reds will look to offload the player that Benitez signed from Villarreal in 2005, with a move to Spain potentially on the cards.

Brendan Rodgers has openly said he would like to strengthen all over the pitch, including in goal to give Mignolet sufficient competition, and Reina around the squad would certainly improve that area.

But given the comments that have been made throughout the season, coupled with the pay that Reina commands, it is hard to see that happening. If both parties wanted to make something work that would result in him staying at Anfield, they would have to renegotiate the Spaniard's contract in order for him to take a significant pay cut.

However, Reina said there were 'possibilities to continue in Naples' earlier this week, so could there be another loan spell on the cards for the Spaniard, or would he be prepared to take a pay cut to stay with the Italian side, and continue to work under Benitez?

It is interesting that former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Benitez has used the term 'and stay there' for Reina. Does he know something that the rest of us don't?

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