After a shaky start to life in Italy, Pepe Reina has begun to show something a little closer to vintage form at Napoli for manager Rafa Benitez. However, any thoughts of making it his long term home appear to have been ruled out by sporting director Riccardo Bigon.
"At the end of this year he will return to Liverpool," Bigon told Italian paper Tutto Mercato Web. "In life you can look again at everything, but to date Reina is a Liverpool player. It is too early to talk about it, at the moment we have only taken him on loan.
"When [former goalkeeper Morgan] De Sanctis raised the idea of joining another club we tried Rafael [Cabral] as a first choice goalkeeper; the Brazilian will be the future of the club. Reina, we chose him because Benitez knew him well."
Reina may see "no reason" to return to Liverpool, but with Napoli pinning their long-term hopes on the 23-year-old Cabral—who arrived alongside him over the summer from Santos for €5M—a future with the Azzurri seems equally unlikely.
It also means that if Reina can't impress in Italy this season, Liverpool could find themselves without a ready made buyer in Barcelona next season, setting up another year of uncertainty for a goalkeeper most expect has already played his last minute at Anfield