Quick links

Liverpool

Reina expects Anfield stay and reveals where he wants to end career

Reina And Liverpool Warm Up

Liverpool's Spanish international claimed he was "here to say", though will now have to win back the goalkeeping jersey from last season's number one Simon Mignolet.

It is unusual to see Pepe Reina's Liverpool career so up in the air right now.

Long held up as a legend at Anfield, the Spaniard has amassed nearly 400 appearances for the Merseyside club since arriving from Villarreal in 2005.

With Brendan Rodgers last summer seeking to make his own mark at the Reds, Reina was sent out on loan to Napoli, where the man who signed him at Liverpool Rafa Benitez is now coaching, and once more the 31-year-old showed his worth, helping the Naples club to a Coppa Italia triumph and third spot in the league.

But now Reina is back with the Reds squad having joined up with their tour of the US, and the summer has played out with uncertainty as to what the ex Barcelona stopper will be doing come the end of the transfer window.

In the last few days, it has looked increasingly likely that Reina is set to remain at Liverpool, with transfer talks breaking down between the the Reds and Napoli and both the player himself and Rodgers becoming more accepting on the prospect of the player remaining at Anfield.

"I have a contract to respect with Liverpool, I'm training well and I am perfectly fine with my team-mates," the Spain international was recently quoted as telling Spanish radio.

"I am here to stay. I have not talked to Brendan Rodgers, I've been here for only four days and I am just thinking of training to my best and getting back into shape."

Despite the "here to stay' part, Reina would go on to emphasise that he would be happy to finish off his career in La Liga, even though there are no opportunities for him there right now.

"At the moment all the big Spanish teams are covered in my role, so I see it as very difficult to return to Spain.

"It's normal though that over the years you want to return to where you came from, so we'll see.

"When Rafa Benitez signed me at Liverpool in 2005, I accepted and said that I would be back a little later in Spain. He replied: 'We'll see'.

"It's amazing that 10 years later I am still away from Spain and that it was he who brought me to Napoli last year."

Whether Reina meant his "returning to where you come from" to mean childhood club Barcelona, place of birth Madrid, or just a general move back to his native country, it is clear his remaining at Liverpool this season is a distinct possibility.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch