Liverpool Transfer News: Pepe Reina Set for Shock Stay, Xherdan Shaqiri Latest

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 05:  Pepe Reina of Liverpool shouts to his team-mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on May 5, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is set to stay at Anfield next season and fight Simon Mignolet for the No. 1 jersey.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, a regular in the Reds' first team until recently, spent last season on loan at Italian club Napoli under former Anfield boss Rafa Benitez.

Reports suggested he was looking to stay in Naples full-time, but the club eventually confirmed they could not afford to keep him, per Sky Sports, and he was widely rumoured to be looking for a move elsewhere:

However, with two years still left on his Liverpool contract, agent Manuel Garcia Quillon has confirmed Reina will stay at Anfield, per Sky Sports' Nadia Carminati:

I know rumours are circulating about Reina’s future. But I can confirm that next season Pepe will play for Liverpool. Reina will respect his deal with the English side.

It is a surprise move considering Mignolet is Reds boss Brendan Rodgers' preferred choice between the posts since making the switch to Anfield from Sunderland last summer.

While it will mean great depth for Liverpool at the back, Reina is still likely to play as a back-up keeper per the BBC's John Bennett:

However, while Mignolet started well last season, Liverpool conceded 50 goals in the Premier League as they finished second, and the Belgian was certainly not blameless, per Opta:

Reina will provide strong competition to Mignolet, and his decision to stay on Merseyside is potentially an indication that he believes he can wrestle back a first-team spot.

He will also provide great experience of Champions League football as Liverpool return to the competition next season for the first time since 2009.

His decision to stay, if he sticks to it, is a big boost for the Reds as they head into next season looking to challenge once again in the English top-flight and perform well in Europe.

It means Rodgers can now afford to rotate his shot-stoppers in what will be a fixture-heavy season in 2014-15. 

MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 25:  Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland acknowledges the fans after a 3-0 victory over Honduras in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between Honduras and Switzerland at Arena Amazonia on June 25, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (Phot
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Further depth may also be added to Liverpool's squad with the arrival of young Bayern Munich star Xherdan Shaqiri, with Gary Jones in the Daily Star reporting a deal is nearly complete for the Swiss international.

According to Starsport (via Nick Lustig of the Daily Star), the Reds bid £15 million for the 22-year-old before the start of the World Cup, and it seems a move is almost complete.

His arrival would help ease the blow of losing Luis Suarez, reportedly on his way to Barcelona for £80 million per Simon Jones in the Daily Mail, and his strength and speed make him perfectly suited for both the Premier League and Rodgers' fast-paced counter-attacking style.