Liverpool loanee could leave club through £5.2m buy-out clause - report

Pepe Reina

According to the Italian press, Pepe Reina could move to Napoli permanently via a buy-out clause in his Liverpool contract.

The longtime Reds shot stopper moved to the San Paolo on loan last summer after Simon Mignolet was brought in by Brendan Rodgers to take over between the sticks.

Reina has established himself as Rafa Benitez’s first choice goalkeeper at Napoli, seeing off competition from youngster Rafael Cabral.

But his future has been the subject of speculation over the course of his temporary spell in southern Italy.

The Spaniard has no intentions of returning to Anfield to play second fiddle to Mignolet, whilst he’s admitted his desire to return to Barcelona - having come through the ranks of La Masia as a youngster.

Yet the Catalan outfit’s transfer ban has taken this option off the table, limiting Reina’s options.

Napoli are believed to be interested in signing him permanently, though have had trouble agreeing terms with the Reds for his purchase.

However, Corriere dello Sport have now reported that Reina’s Liverpool contract contains a £5.2m buy-out clause - allowing the Partenopei to get their man if willing to stump up the cash.

If the Italian newspaper’s claims are genuine, Liverpool would certainly be happy with taking in £5.2m for a player with no future on Merseyside.

What remains to be seen is whether Napoli would pay that much for the 31-year-old Reina - especially after spending £4m for 23-year-old Cabral last summer.

The Spaniard made a fatal mistake on Saturday to gift Udinese the equaliser in Napoli’s 1-1 draw at the Stadio Friuli - not the first costly error he’s made in an Azzurri shirt.

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Napoli may view Reina as a good veteran buy to help Cabral mature and take over the no. 1 role at a lower price. But £5.2m seems steep for an an ageing, error-prone goalkeeper.

At any rate, Liverpool will hope Napoli don’t see the situation that way, as getting Reina off their books at that price would be an ideal outcome.

Where will Reina be playing his football next season?

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