Brendan Rodgers: Reina will not be returning to Liverpool
Published 28/02/2014 | 02:30
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the door is closed on any return for goalkeeper Pepe Reina when his loan with Napoli ends.
Reina joined former Anfield boss Rafael Benitez for the season in Italy, but remains under contract on Merseyside for another two years.
Although his replacement Simon Mignolet made an impressive start to his career under Rodgers, Liverpool are believed to be assessing goalkeeper targets this summer, primarily as a back-up to increase competition.
Earlier this week, Reina suggested he would return to Liverpool at the end of the season before determining his next move. "I need to go back to Liverpool at the end of my loan and I will make my decision there," he said.
However, it seems any visit to Merseyside during the close season will be brief as Rodgers says Reina has no wish to challenge for the No 1 status he enjoyed for eight years.
Rodgers believes the 'keeper made his intentions clear when he published an open letter via his website after leaving the club. Some of the remarks in that correspondence did not go down too well with his parent club.
"He's already written his letter," said Rodgers. "He wrote a goodbye letter didn't he? I was surprised a loan player wrote a letter. I would suspect that he should come back but obviously Pepe made it very clear when he went to Napoli that he was looking to move.
"He penned a great big letter saying he was going to work with the best manager that he'd worked with and thanked us for his time at Liverpool. So for me it probably sounded like he'd made his decision there."
While Reina's Anfield career looks over, Rodgers has offered support to defender Daniel Agger by taking the unusual step of naming him in his starting XI for this weekend 48 hours early. Rodgers wanted to show his support for the Dane after substituting him during last week's 4-3 victory over Swansea. "Daniel will start on Saturday," he said. "He is an excellent player." (© Daily Telegraph, London)