What does the future hold for Liverpool outcast after Napoli snub permanent deal?

Pepe Reina

Napoli have turned down the opportunity to sign Pepe Reina permanently - so what should Liverpool do with him?

Liverpool were right in the title race up until the final day, but manager Brendan Rodgers will be disappointed to have seen his side throw away top spot in the final weeks of the season. In order to stay in the hunt for the Premier League crown, Rodgers has to strengthen his squad and has already landed striker Rickie Lambert and midfielder Emre Can this summer.

But he must also resolve the futures of players heading back to Anfield following loan spells away from the club. The likes of Oussama Assaidi (Stoke City) and Fabio Borini (Sunderland) will be looking to find out their role in the squad, but one player's future is even more confusing - goalkeeper Reina.

The Spaniard was a regular under Rafa Benitez and even Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish, but it took Rodgers just on year to replace the former Barcelona man, bringing in Sunderland's Simon Mignolet instead. That left Reina on the fringes of the squad, and he unsurprisingly reunited with Benitez at Napoli on a season-long loan.

However, the deal has now ended, leaving Reina's future up in the air - especially after the goalkeeper's agent Manuel Garcia Quilon admitted that the Serie A side won't pay what Liverpool want for the 31-year-old shot stopper.

"It's very difficult for Pepe to remain at Napoli,' Garcia Quilon said. "From June 30, he will return to Liverpool because they want to maximise his sale, and Napoli are not willing to spend what is required."

There have already been plenty of rumours that Rodgers wants to add another goalkeeper after Mignolet's inconsistent season, but it's doubtful that an international player like Reina would be content with a second choice role. Instead, Liverpool will surely look to sell Reina - but then who would be interested?

Two teams stick out - Atletico Madrid could move as Thibaut Courtois will return to Chelsea, whilst former club Barcelona are looking for experienced competition for new signing Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. Both look very slim possibilities at this point, but it certainly seems Reina's Liverpool career is over - it's just a waiting game now.

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