"It is an invention of newspapers," Pepe Reina insisted in an interview with Spanish radio over the international break when asked about suggestions he had already been lined up by Barcelona to replace Victor Valdes, with the Catalan side's current keeper running down his contract and expected to leave for Monaco on a free next summer.
"Even last year it was said that I would take over from Valdes," he added. "It is normal that a player dreams of representing a club like Barcelona or Real Madrid because they are historic and prestigious teams. But I have a contract with Liverpool until 2016. I do not care about the rumours. I am excited to be at Napoli and try and win something here."
After a somewhat rough start to life at Napoli, Reina's reunion with Rafa Benitez has seen the keeper begin to rediscover something of his old form. He's managed four clean sheets in the opening seven games of the Serie A campaign while making almost 50% more saves per game than he did last year at Anfield.
Still, any talk of having a contract with Liverpool through to the summer of 2016 rings a touch hollow. Contract or not, there likely isn't anyone who pays the slightest attention to the sport who would expect Reina to play another Liverpool match, especially with the way Mignolet has performed since arriving from Sunderland.
Whether he ends up at Barcelona, makes the full time switch to Napoli despite that the club see 23-year-old Rafael Cabral as the future, or ends up heading elsewhere either on loan or permanently, the fact that he still has a contract with Liverpool doesn't say much about where he'll be playing next. And there's no way Reina isn't aware of this.
Though with little reason for him to so strongly protest the Barcelona links if there's any truth in them, it may suggest there really isn't—either to the current set or those floated during the last window. It all hints at a rather uncertain future for the stopper, though continuing his strong recent form certainly won't hurt with finding him a new home.
Reina and Napoli are next in action on Friday, when they visit Roma for the Derby del Sole.
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