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Reina restates loyalty to Reds

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Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Picture: Julian Finney / Getty Images

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Picture: Julian Finney / Getty Images

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Picture: Julian Finney / Getty Images

PEPE REINA admits he is flattered to be linked with a return to former club Barcelona but has again insisted he is happy at Liverpool, with whom he is under contract until 2016.

Reina is one of the names being touted as a possible replacement for long-serving Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who has told the Catalan giants he intends to leave the club.

The 31-year-old Reina, who came up through the youth ranks at Barca before joining Villarreal more than a decade ago, said: "I have three more years with Liverpool. I'm satisfied, comfortable and my family are very happy. Rumours are difficult to control but it's flattering when a club like Barca are interested in you."

Reina hopes to finish his career back in his homeland, but the Reds 'keeper added: "I don't know how long I've got left in football. I want to enjoy what remains and feel appreciated and at Liverpool I have that."

Build

Meanwhile, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes a summer of squad strengthening will allow the club to build on a strong second half of the season.

The injured England skipper, who watched Sunday's 1-0 win over QPR from the stands, pointed to "Champions League form" since January as an indicator fortunes were on the up.

The gap to fourth place was closed to 12 points from 17 a year ago, and Gerrard is confident greater strides can be made in 2013/14.

"Since January this team has shown a better level of consistency," said the 32-year-old. "We've shown Champions League form and there is a lot of optimism to take into next season."

Gerrard expects to be fully recovered from an operation on his left shoulder he had just over a week ago by the time the players return for pre-season training in early July.


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