Updates from Friday, August 8
Bayern Munich announced that Reina had signed his contract on Friday, via the club's Twitter account:
Done deal! @PReina25 has just signed a contract: "I came here as I want to win as many trophies as possible." More to follow shortly...— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 8, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 7
Bayern Munich confirmed that Pepe Reina passed his medical on Thursday via the club's Twitter account:
Bayern Munich are set to add another keeper to their ranks, as the club has announced that Pepe Reina will be joining the team, barring a failed medical.
From the team's official Twitter account:
The move is a curious one for Reina, as he will be going from a club in Liverpool where he likely would have deputized Simon Mignolet to a club in Bayern Munich where he will deputize an even more impressive keeper, Manuel Neuer, arguably the best at his position in the world.
John Brewin of ESPN believes Reina must have come to terms with a role on the bench:
Pepe Reina off to Bayern Munich to reprise his Spain cheerleading role?— John Brewin (@JohnBrewinESPN) August 5, 2014
Raphael Honigstein of The Guardian tends to agree:
I'm backing Reina to concede zero goals during his Bayern career #Neuer— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) August 5, 2014
On the other hand, Cristian Nyari of Bleacher Report thinks the move is an excellent one for Bayern Munich:
Pepe Reina is an excellent addition to Bayern. Experienced, great with his feet, fantastic locker room presence.— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) August 5, 2014
Indeed, as deputies go, Reina is an excellent option. Consider the following stat from OptaJoe:
134 – Since his Premier League debut in August 2005, no goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets than Pepe Reina (134). Barrier.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 5, 2014
But a deputy he will assuredly be. Neuer has started 30 or more games in every season dating back to 2009-10, and his 7.02 average match rating from WhoScored.com in Bundesliga play last year was a sparkling mark.
He also turned heads for his wonderful play at the World Cup, regularly racing from his position in the box to play the role of emergency sweeper for Germany. For anyone doubting, Reina's signing most certainly does not bring with it a keeper controversy to Bavaria.
Reina was no slouch for Napoli last season, however. He started 30 games, earning a 6.9 average match rating from WhoScored. At 31, he still has several years of strong play ahead of him, and should give Bayern Munich one of the better second-choice keepers in world football.
While Reina won't be expected to accept the role of No. 2 without putting up a fight, his willingness to sign with the Bavarians suggests he knows it is a distinct possibility. For Bayern Munich, the signing only furthers what has essentially become the club's creed over the past several years:
The rich get richer.