Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has revealed that Pepe Reina won’t be signed permanently and the Arsenal FC transfer target will return to Liverpool FC.
Napoli signed Pepe Reina on loan last season and after helping the Italian club to a third place finish in the Serie A, the Spaniard is seemingly on his way back to Anfield. Liverpool however have already have an established no.1 in Simon Mignolet, who produced some good performances in his debut season at the club, and Pepe Reina will find it hard to dislodge him from the starting line-up.
The Spanish international, who is currently in Brazil with his national team, was willing to extend his stay at Napoli, but former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has revealed that the Italian club will be unable to sign him permanently due to his high wage.
“He has to go back and he’ll stay there. We can’t afford Pepe’s wages.
“The Premier League is a very big league and, in Serie A, we don’t pay big wages like in England. He will have to fight for his position at Liverpool.” – The Napoli manager said in an interview.
The 31-year-old custodian will be desperate for regular first team action, in order to maintain his place in the Spanish squad, and he will have to look elsewhere to gain it. Recent reports suggest that Arsenal are closely monitoring his situation at Napoli and are lining up a move for him in the transfer window.
The Gunners are expected to spend heavily in this window and a new goalkeeper is at the top of the priority list after Lukasz Fabianski rejected their new contract and decided to join Swansea City at the end of last season. This came after Vito Mannone was signed by Sunderland in July last year. Arsenal are in need of a second goalkeeper currently and Arsene Wenger is hoping to lure Pepe Reina to the Emirates.
Wojciech Szczesny has established himself as the regular started in the squad, but Reina can guide him with his experience and help him grow as a footballer. The Spaniard will also keep Szczesny on his toes and will receive decent playing time as well.