Reina burned bridges back to Liverpool

Stuart Franklin

Let's face it: the news of Rafael's injury and extended layoff hasn't been good for Napoli. The young goalkeeper tore his ACL, will miss the rest of the season, and will more than likely miss the start of the next. Unfortunate since, after a couple of shaky games, the Brazilian has been formidable between the sticks, making it a toss up over who would be the starting 'keeper for the partenopei.

But it it looks like the start of next season won't be quite so rough. Napoli will have Mariano Andújar back from Catania, and he just might be able to back up Reina. When the Liverpool 'keeper came in on loan, it looked unlikely he'd stick around, with no provisions made to make the move permanent. Now, however, it makes sense to keep him around.

Particularly since Reina torched some bridges when crossing over to the continent. According to former manager Brendan Rodgers, the Spaniard won't be going back to Liverpool. His goodbye letter - in which Reina said he was off to work with "the best manager" - apparently didn't sit all that well with Rodgers. Despite Reina's contract running through 2016, it looks as though he's going to be shopping around for a new deal come summer.

And why not Napoli? Rafa Benítez seems to love him, calling him the best goalkeeper in Serie A this season. Napoli fans might disagree, particularly when Reina comes barreling out of goal at times, but his distribution is excellent and he's still a more than decent shot-stopper. Might as well stick with the devil we know, at least until there's more information about how well Rafael will recover.

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