Over the past week there's been repeated assertions--or at least the same quotes doing the rounds in different places at different times--from Pepe Reina that he wants his future to be at Liverpool, and that he has every intention of seeing out his current contract with the club. That may very well be the case, even on the heels of a season that saw him constantly linked with a move to Barcelona, but his future as the club's number one is very much in doubt after Liverpool have reportedly agreed a fee with Sunderland for the transfer of Simon Mignolet.
At the current time it's Sky Sports leading the charge, so skepticism is more than appropriate, but we've been inundated with reports of progress on the deal from a number of reliable sources. Sky have the fee in the £11m-£12m range, which is a significant increase from the club's entry-level valuation, which was reported to be closer to £8m, with no discussion of add-ons or wages.
If true, that's a significant increase, and one which makes the fate of Reina all the more tenuous. I have a hard time believing that the club would dole out £3m-£4m for a goalkeeper who's not going to be first choice, especially with their current number one on wages widely reported to be above £100k per week. Mignolet won't command that much, but if both are on board, that's a large chunk of money to have sunk into the goalkeeping position without having addressed other needs (fullbacks, defensive midfield cover) in the squad.
I'm having a hard time seeing a way forward for Pepe Reina if this sort of money is invested in Simon Mignolet; I'm all for competition and allowing for top-level goalkeepers to push each other along. But Reina's not yet to the Brad Friedel stage of his career, and with Belgium one of the teams to watch for next summer's World Cup, it's doubtful that Mignolet would willingly enter a situation in which he would see his playing time as anything other than guaranteed.
**Professor Chaos pointed me in the direction of this BBC story from Phil McNulty, with the price set at £9m rather than £11m-£12m.**
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