So we're not quite done yet with the Pepe Reina transfer talk for the day, as now there's a number of reliable outlets reporting that the Spanish goalkeeper and longtime Liverpool number one is close to joining Napoli on a loan deal. That's not an outcome that many, if any, were expecting, and while the destination isn't surprising, the nature of the transfer is, as many had expected that if Reina were to leave it would be for good. That may well prove to the be case as the story unfolds, but for now there doesn't seem to be any closure in the near future.
Tony Barrett from The Times was among those who broke the story a few minutes ago, and he so in fairly basic fashion after retweeting dubious Italian source Tancredi Palmeri:
Pepe Reina close to joining Napoli on loan.— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) July 19, 2013
That's a strange, strange twist in a story that's been on a rolling boil for months. First Barcelona were the frontrunners and only destination, then it was a Liverpool stay for at least the remainder of his current contract, then a reunion with former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez on a full deal, and now the chance that the reunion will indeed occur, only on a temporary basis. It also allows for a Barca return for Reina--Simon Mignolet gets the first team minutes at Liverpool, Reina fills the gap left by Morgan de Sanctis while Rafael is groomed, and Victor Valdes sees out his contract at the Nou Camp through the coming season.
Palmeri's tweet about wages makes sense; Reina's rumored to be one of the higher-earning players in the current Liverpool squad, and that may well prove to be a major stumbling block. Regardless, today's proven that the sentimental favorite's Liverpool countdown is in full swing, and we can expect some sort of resolution sometime soon.
And, as I was finishing this up, James Pearce tweeted:
Pepe Reina on his way to Napoli on a season-long loan. Danny Ward has flown to Oz to provide back up to Mignolet and Jones. #LFC— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) July 19, 2013
So...that's it? How wonderfully strange.