Bitter Reina tells Liverpool fans he was forced into Napoli loan move
Published 29/07/2013 | 11:55
Goalkeeper Jose Reina has expressed his disappointment at the manner of his departure from Liverpool, claiming the club decided to loan him to Napoli without telling him first and that he "deserved better".
The Spain international's switch to the Italian side on a season-long deal was confirmed by the Merseyside outfit today.
Reina has spent eight years at Anfield, and, in a letter to Reds fans published on his official website, the 30-year-old said: "If I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving.
"It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first. I thought that I deserved better than that, even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football."
Reina had also been linked this summer with a move to Barcelona, the Spanish giants he began his career with, and he admits he had made it known to Liverpool that it was something he wanted them to consider should such an offer come in.
But Reina has also stressed he made it clear to Reds boss Brendan Rodgers he was otherwise happy to stay, and says that with no Barca approach having emerged, he was "surprised" about the Napoli situation arising.
He said: "A lot has been made about me informing the club that if an offer came in from Barcelona that I would have liked them to consider it.
"But I had also spoken to the club about the possibility of extending my contract if the offer was not made.
"I told the manager that I wanted to play for Liverpool and that Barcelona would only become an option for me if the opportunity arrived, like the rumours said it would, as it would be a chance for me to go back home.
"When it didn't come I was happy to fight for my place so I was surprised that Liverpool decided it was in the club's interests to send me to Napoli instead."
Liverpool added a new goalkeeper to their ranks in June, with Rodgers signing Belgium international Simon Mignolet from Sunderland.
Regarding Reina, the manager said last week: "From last season, really, as a manager I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe (Reina) that would probably see him leave the club.
"As events transpired, that move didn't happen and it left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the number one position.
"Then obviously an opportunity arose for Pepe and it was one we felt as a football club was best for him to take."
Reina has emphasised he ultimately accepts the call Liverpool have made.
"Although it was not my decision to leave I will accept it just like I have always accepted any decision that Liverpool have taken for me," he said.
At Napoli, Reina will play under Rafael Benitez, who signed him for Liverpool from Villarreal in 2005 and is someone the goalkeeper considers to be "the best manager I have worked with".
During his time on Merseyside, Reina won the FA Cup in 2006 and League Cup in 2012.
His current contract with them runs to 2016.