Reina: "It's Unlikely I'll Stay"

Stuart Franklin

With his Napoli future uncertain and Barcelona looking increasingly unlikely, Pepe Reina is expecting to return to Liverpool at the end of the season—though he doesn't expect to be back for long.

With Barcelona increasingly likely to sign Monchengladbach's Marc-Andre ter Stegen and rumours Napoli are looking at goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler as a potential summer signing, it remains far from clear where Pepe Reina will end up next season. About all that's clear is that nobody much expects him to play for Liverpool next season.

In an interview with All Naples, Reina admitted that while he has enjoyed his time at Napoli this season and would be happy to sign on for the longer term, his future remains up in the air and that he's likely to return to Liverpool in the summer even if he isn't likely to still be at the English club when next season kicks off.

"I'll be here right to the end, but even I don't know what will happen next," said the goalkeeper, whose future has been a frequent point of discussion ever since he arrived in Italy on loan last summer as Liverpool sought to make room for Simon Mignolet. "I'm here now, but I'll have to return to Liverpool—though it's unlikely I'll stay there."

With Barcelona looking elsewhere and Napoli at least considering other options, there seem few potential suitors for Reina's services. Liverpool are unlikely to want to sell him to another English club, while in Spain and Italy the potential suitors that could offer him a chance at silverware are few and far between.

"The most important figure in my arrival at Napoli was Benitez," added Reina. "He convinced me to join this ambitious project at a great club. Obviously there was also the desire to get to know a different league, though Liverpool took the first step by not wanting me anymore because they were putting their confidence in a younger goalkeeper."

His best chance might be with Atletico Madrid if this season's surprise title challengers in La Liga lose the services of Chelsea loanee and current Belgium number one Thibaut Courtois. Wherever he ends up, it's clear Liverpool have moved on with Belgium number two Mignolet, and the priority now becomes finding a permanent home so that Reina can, too.

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