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Premier League

Reina wants Liverpool investment

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina has echoed team-mate Fernando Torres' calls for significant investment in players to make the club title challengers again.

At the weekend, in an interview with the Spanish press, Torres said the club needed to sign four or five quality players in the summer.

He intimated a failure to do so could be interpreted as a lack of ambition and may lead to him considering his long-term future.

Although Reina feels similarly about the need to progress he has no qualms about committing his own long-term future to the club.

And despite admitting he does not know how long it will be before Liverpool are likely to be crowned English champions again - they last won the title 20 years ago having run Manchester United a close second last season - he intends to stick around to find out.

Asked how long it could be before Liverpool would have a realistic chance of winning the Barclays Premier League the Spain international said: "It is not a question I can answer.

"I can talk about the players but not the investment - that is not in our hands.

"But I hope we can compete with these kinds of transfers (by Manchester United and Chelsea) and spend some more money in the market, maybe go toe-to-toe with them.

"All I want and the team want is to be competitive as the others.

"There is nothing apart from winning the league with Liverpool once which makes me feel excited.

"That is a dream to get through and hopefully in a short period of time we will see it come true."

The search for outside investment took a positive turn at the weekend when global private equity firm the Rhone Group made a £100million-plus offer for a 40% share in the club.

Although, if accepted by co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, that cash would be used to pay off a large chunk of Liverpool's £237million debt and not spent on players it would free up more credit options, almost halve the annual interest payments of £30million and encourage further investment.

There are a number of other parties interested in investing in the club and that all points to a brighter future - a future Reina is determined to play a significant part in.

He has already verbally agreed a new contract with the club and expects to complete the formalities next month.

That is despite his form this season - he has been Liverpool's best player by far - making him arguably the Premier League's best goalkeeper and attracting interest from a number of other clubs.

"It is really close and it (signing a new contract) is because they were good to me and I am grateful," said the 27-year-old Spain international.

"You will see something in a month or so. I am happy here and the club is happy with me so I have no problem at all.

"Talking to my family we believe there is no better place to be and that is why we will be a bit longer, much longer."

Reina's immediate future involves keeping a clean sheet at home to Lille tomorrow as Liverpool try to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit from their Europa League last-16 tie.

The French side will be a difficult prospect, even at Anfield, but Reina insists the players are determined to turn things around as they are desperate to win some silverware to make up for a disappointing campaign.

"It is the only trophy we can lift this season so it is massively important," he added.

"A trophy is a trophy and it is always good. We are the first ones to know the season has not been good and we should have been better.

"But as long as we have got a possibility of winning a trophy it is important for the club and the players.

"Lille will play defensively with some pace and ability up front playing counter-attack and we have to be aware of that and manage that."