Pepe Reina reveals Liverpool forced him out in his open letter to the fans
The 30-year-old joined the Reds in the 2005-06 season and has been the number one goal keeper all these years. However, with the purchase of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland, keeping two quality goal-keepers on substantial wages is a luxury for Liverpool and hence, the off colour Spaniard has been sent on loan to Napoli, where he will re-unite with his former manager Rafael Benitez.
Speaking about his Napoli move, Reina said he was surprised to see that Liverpool insisted on sending him out on loan, when he was happy to fight for his place at Liverpool.
“Although it was not my decision to leave I will accept it just like I have always accepted any decision that Liverpool have taken for me.”
The 30-year-old added: “A lot has been made about me informing the club that if an offer came in from Barcelona that I would have liked them to consider it. But I had also spoken to the club about the possibility of extending my contract if the offer was not made.
“I told the manager that I wanted to play for Liverpool and that Barcelona would only become an option for me if the opportunity arrived, like the rumours said it would, as it would be a chance for me to go back home.”
Well, it is clearly evident from the letter that Reina is venting his frustrations out on the club hierarchy, but there’s hardly any sympathy one can leave for him.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers clearly stated that the club had to take a decision on the goal-keeping situation because, Reina and his agent were flirting with a move to Barcelona since the end of last season, and chances were high that he would leave the club should there be a concrete offer, to which he admitted.
Being the manager, he just did what every other sensible manager would have done – that is, buying an immediate replacement and not waiting for situations that are beyond his control.
Once, they have done that, they were hardly left with any choice rather than to sell him or send him elsewhere on loan. It is a good decision to keep two quality goal keepers (though considering the face that Reina’s form declined tremendously in the last few seasons) on the side, however in this case Liverpool can’t afford to have neither of the two sitting on bench week-in-week-out.
Secondly, Liverpool had to keep an eye on the finances as well. Reina is thought to be one of the highest earners at the club. From that point of view too, it doesn’t make any sense to waste money on a player, who is not contributing to the side significantly.