The hiring of new manager Brendan Rodgers has provided Liverpool with a boost of excitement around the club. The last thing the Reds need is to watch one of their top players leave Anfield, which is why the team must work hard to keep Pepe Reina.
AC Milan are interested in acquiring the veteran goalkeeper after a lackluster season from current starter Christian Abbiati, according the the Daily Mail. The report states that the Serie A powerhouses are targeting Reina because Liverpool is a team in transition.
Although the Rossoneri have enough resources to put together a solid package for Reina, Liverpool has to stand firm and make sure he stays. He's one of the most important players on the entire squad, and losing him would be a massive setback.
The 29-year-old Reds stalwart has made 354 appearances since joining the team in 2005. Over that time period, he's earned nearly 160 clean sheets and has won the Premier League Golden Glove Award three times. He was also the team's Player of the Year in 2010.
Having a reliable goalkeeper like him is vital for every Premier League contender, especially for a team like Liverpool that will be undergoing some changes in its style of play next season. The learning curve will lead to more errors, and therefore more pressure on Reina.
It's not possible to just go out and find another keeper like him, either. Replacing him would be nearly impossible, because any team with a player on the same level as him are likely not going to be interested in letting them go.
Where will Reina play next season?
Letting Reina get away would also send a bad signal to the rest of the squad and vulture teams looking to target other Liverpool stars. Rodgers needs to retain as much talent as he can while he searches the market himself for upgrades.
He doesn't need a steady stream of elite players to start becoming options for Europe's big-spending teams. Standing tall on the Reina issue will send a strong message that Rodgers isn't going to let his top players go easily.
It will take a couple seasons for him to build the team the way he wants. Reina should be a major part of those plans. Goalkeepers have a longer shelf life than other players, so he still has plenty of productive seasons ahead.
If AC Milan does end up making a strong push for Reina, Rodgers' reaction will be the first marquee moment as Liverpool boss.
He must do whatever it takes to make sure the team's goalkeeper remains at Anfield.