Pepe Reina Coy over Arsenal Transfer Following Summer Interest
Pepe Reina has admitted Arsenal were interested in signing him over the summer before his loan switch to Napoli, according to Geoff Sweet of The Sun (subscription required).
Ahead of Napoli’s clash with Arsenal in the Champions League, Reina told Sweet:
The interest of Arsenal in my services? Now I think only of Napoli.
But to come back to England with Napoli against Arsenal in London is special.
Arsenal are top of the Premier League but we are second in Serie A, and it looks like developing into a big season for us.
On Friday, the Spanish goalkeeper revealed that he doubted whether he would return to Liverpool after his stint at Napoli, per Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail.
"At the moment it's difficult to think about being a Liverpool player next year," Reina said. "They have a young goalkeeper in Simon Mignolet and the manager prefers him to me."
Reina made close to 300 appearances for Liverpool and established himself as No. 1 for eight seasons. Aside from occasional blunders, notably in the 2006 FA Cup final and during the first season under Brendan Rodgers, he proved himself in England with a number of solid performances over many years.
The summer transfer window saw Arsenal linked with various goalkeepers, mainly QPR's Julio Cesar, per James Orr of The Independent, before they recruited Emiliano Viviano on a season-long loan.
Interestingly, Reina's and Viviano’s loan deals expire at the end of the season, potentially paving a way for the Gunners to move for the Spanish shot-stopper should they see fit. He's proven in the Premier League but is he better than Arsenal's current No. 1 Wojciech Szczesny?
Who is the better goalkeeper?
The Pole’s performances have dramatically improved since the opening day of the season, where he was lucky to avoid a sending off after upending Aston Villa’s Gabby Agbonlahor in the penalty area.
He made a string of fine saves against Fulham in the following match, a victory which signalled the start of five straight league wins, and he kept a clean sheet in the North London derby.
At 31 years of age, Reina is not old for a goalkeeper by any stretch, but if Szczesny carries on his form the Spaniard’s services may not be needed.
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