Reds boss explains Napoli move.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has moved to explain his rationale behind allowing popular goalkeeper Pepe Reina to join Italian side Napoli on a season long loan, Sky Sports reports.
The Spanish international has already passed a medical with the San Paolo outfit and is expected to put the official stamp on a season long loan within the next few days where he will be reunited with former Reds manager Rafa Benitez.
Reina had been linked with a move to Spanish champions Barcelona last season, being mooted as a replacement for Victor Valdes, but Rodgers had been preparing for his departure by bringing in Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet.
Mignolet’s impressive form last season would most likely mean that Reina’s playing time at Anfield would be limited.
“It was obviously a difficult decision. From last season I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe that would probably see him leave the club,” said Rodgers.
“On the football side, we have to protect the team, and at that stage we started our search for another goalkeeper.
“That found us Simon Mignolet, who is top class – one of the top young European goalkeepers.
“As events transpired, that move (for Reina) didn’t happen and it left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the No.1 position.”
Rodgers also felt that Reina would need a first team guarantee ahead of next summer’s World Cup, and he felt the best guarantee of that would be a short term move away.
“An opportunity arose for Pepe and it was one we felt as a football club was best for him to take.
“As a senior goalkeeper, he needs to be playing. It’s a very important year for him with the World Cup next year. It wouldn’t have served any purpose, both for the club and him personally, if he’d been the one missing out.
“It’s decided he will go to Napoli and we’ve got two very good goalkeepers still at the football club.”
Liverpool also have goalkeeper Brad Jones, who signed a new long-term deal last December, on their books while Reina has three years to run on his current contract.
“We’ll review it after the loan finishes,” added Rodgers.