Newly-promoted Newcastle United will move for unsettled former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, reports The Mirror.
The veteran Spaniard is said to be unhappy at Italian giants Napoli and could be set to sign a £4 million deal to reunite with Rafa Benitez who he played under at Anfield. Reina departed Liverpool for Bayern Munich in 2014 (after an initial loan spell at Napoli) after 285 Premier League appearances and could favour a return to England’s top flight.
Having worked under Benitez for five years, 34-times capped Reina could see a move to Tynside as the ideal fit. He has one year left to run on his contract and Benitez was full of praise for his former net-minder
“I have a great personal relationship with Reina,” said Benitez. “He’s a great goalkeeper.
“Pepe is a great player, but above all, a leader in the dressing room. We missed him at Napoli in the year he went to Bayern Munich, he can make a difference both on and off the pitch.
“Would I take him to Newcastle if he left? I respect Napoli, as that’s where he is, and our club has a lot of goalkeepers who are doing well. We need to be calm, we’ll talk to the club and decide on our targets.”
Newcastle went up as Championship winners and will hope to mount a strong return to the Premier League. Reina’s profile and experience would fit the bill at Newcastle who have Tim Krul returning from loan, Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow aand Matz Sels on their books. It could spell trouble for Irish international Elliot who is only returning to first team action following a long-term knee injury.
Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena