Liverpool FC contact Benfica for sale of Lorenzo Melgarejo, while Pepe Reina departs from Anfield with a heavy heart.
Liverpool interested in Benfica defender Lorenzo Melgarejo
Brendan Rodgers has earlier stated his desire to sign a new left-back as there is very little back-up for Jose Enrique.
“There are obviously certain areas of the squad where we’re a bit thinner than others.
“We probably need a bit more support – that extra bit of quality – at the top end of the field and that’s something we’ll look out for.
“That’ll be mixed with needing cover in the left-back position – that’s something we’re looking at. It’s not really about numbers, it’s about quality.
“If we can do that over the next number of weeks we’ll be happy.” – The Liverpool manager told the press.
Earlier reports suggested that Liverpool are in negotiations with Valencia regarding the transfer of Aly Cissokho on loan. The Merseyside club were seemingly willing to offer a loan fee of around £850,000 with an option to sign him permanently for £3.5m next season. But it seems that they haven’t made any progress in their chase of the Frenchman and have been forced to look elsewhere.
The Guardian are reporting that Liverpool have contacted Portuguese club Benfica over the availability of Lorenzo Melgarejo. The Merseyside club want to sign the 22-year-old in a season long loan deal, with an option to make it permanent in the end (similar to the offer they initially looking to make for Cissokho).
The Paraguayan international, who joined Benfica back in 2011, was a regular fixture in Jorge Jesus’ starting eleven last season. Melgarejo, who started his career as a left midfielder, has been converted into a full-back by Jesus. He made 14 appearances in Europe last season with Benfica first participating in the Champions League and then reaching the Europa League final where the lost to Chelsea. The Paraguayan has received rave reviews for his performances last season, and certainly looks like a better option than Aly Cissokho for Liverpool.
Pepe Reina disappointed with the way he has left the club
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Pepe Reina have confirmed the Spaniard’s transfer to Italian side Napoli on a loan deal.
The 30-year-old has thanked Liverpool and the fans for everything in an emotional letter put up on his official website. But Reina didn’t hide his disappointment at the fact that the club decided to loan him to Napoli without consulting him in the first place.
“If I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving,” Reina wrote on his official website pepereina25.com.
“It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first.
“I thought that I deserved better than that, even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football.
“A lot has been made about me informing the club that if an offer came in from Barcelona that I would have liked them to consider it.
“But I had also spoken to the club about the possibility of extending my contract if the offer was not made.
“I told the manager that I wanted to play for Liverpool and that Barcelona would only become an option for me if the opportunity arrived, like the rumours said it would, as it would be a chance for me to go back home.
“When it didn’t come I was happy to fight for my place so I was surprised that Liverpool decided it was in the club’s interests to send me to Napoli instead.
“Although it was not my decision to leave I will accept it just like I have always accepted any decision that Liverpool have taken for me.” – The Liverpool custodian wrote.
Although this is a loan move, it could very well signal the end of his wonderful career at Anfield. Reina joined the club back in 2005, and has won one FA Cup, one League cup and one UEFA Super Cup with them. But his future at the Merseyside club was up for speculations when Simon Mignolet was signed this summer. Although Brendan Rodgers initially insisted Reina won’t be sold, later reports emerged that former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is interested in signing Reina for his new club Napoli.
Brendan Rodgers has stated that although it was a tough decision for the club, the arrival of Mignolet changed the scenario. He said that Reina needed regular first team action specially with the World Cup at the horizon, hence this decision was taken to loan him out.
“It was obviously a difficult decision.
“From last season, really, as a manager I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe that would probably see him leave the club.
“On the football side, we have to protect the team, and at that stage we started our search for another goalkeeper.
“That found us Simon Mignolet, who’s top class – one of the top young European goalkeepers.
“As events transpired, that move (for Reina) didn’t happen and it left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the number one position.
“Then obviously an opportunity arose for Pepe and it was one we felt as a football club was best for him to take.
“As a senior goalkeeper, he needs to be playing. It’s a very important year for him with the World Cup next year.
“It wouldn’t have served any purpose, both for the club and him personally, if he’d been the one missing out.
“It’s decided he will go to Napoli and we’ve got two very good goalkeepers still at the football club.
“We’ll review it after the loan finishes.” – Rodgers told the press.
This is the second time Rafa Benitez has managed to sign Reina and this is his first foray into Italian football. Napoli have gathered a strong squad this season and like last season, are sure to challenge Juventus for the Serie A title along with Fiorentina.