Pepe Reina sees his future away from Liverpool with his eyes focused on success with Napoli under Rafael Benitez
The Spaniard admits he does not know where his future lies beyond this season but feels his time with the Reds has come to an end
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina believes his time at Anfield is up even though he is due to return to the Premier League once his season-long loan with Napoli ends in the summer.
Reina was allowed to join the Italian club on loan when Brendan Rodgers secured the signing of Belgian stopper Simon Mignolet, and has been installed as the first choice goalkeeper at the Stadio San Paolo under former Reds manager and Independent columnist Rafael Benitez.
Despite the Spanish international sue to return to the Merseyside club at the end of the season, he believes that his long-term future lies elsewhere although admits that he does not know where exactly that is.
Napoli are reported to be interested in Hannover’s 25-year-old goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, and only signed Brazilian Rafael at the beginning of the season, but it is clearly a position that the Italian’s are looking to address.
Reina was linked with a number on clubs last season, which included a return to his homeland with both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid rumoured to be keeping an eye on the 31-year-old, but Reina has admitted that he would welcome the opportunity to remain under the guidance of Benitez in Naples.
“I'm very happy here and my family's happy too,” he told Piuenne television. “I'll be here right to the end, but not even I know what will happen after.
“I'm here now, but I've got to return to Liverpool, although it's unlikely I'll stay there.
“Benitez was the most important figure in me arriving here. He convinced me to join this ambitious project at a great club.
“Obviously I also wanted to get to know a different league while it was Liverpool who took the first step by not wanting me anymore because they were placing their faith in a younger goalkeeper.”
Reina has made nearly 400 appearances for the Reds since joining the club in 2005 from Villarreal, but his focus in solely on Napoli this season as he looks to help them secure silverware in the final part of their domestic and European campaign. The Partenopei have reached the Coppa Italia final where they will meet Fiorentina, and currently lie in third position in the Serie A, 13 points off leaders Juventus.
However, their next match sees them comes up against Premier League opposition in Swansea, as they enter the Europa League at the last-32 stage having dropped down from the Champions League.
“Thirteen points is a long way to be behind Juve, but we've always got to think positively, regardless of them,” Reina said optimistically.
“It's unlikely that they slip up now considering the pace they've sustained thus far, but it's up to us to do the impossible. We play every competition to win it.
“Now we're in the final [of the Coppa Italia], we want to win it, but we also know that Fiorentina are a great side. We've taken the first step, playing well against Roma (defeating their rivals in the semi-finals) and deserving to win and I'm delighted that we're now so close to winning.”
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