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Mercato Madness: Pepe Reina return to Napoli taking shape

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Pepe Reina's first season in Germany hasn't exactly been fruitful, so a return to Naples seems to be in the cards.

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The rumors have been swirling for weeks, but things are starting to become clearer. With every day that passes, it's looking more and more like it's only a matter of time before Pepe Reina rejoins Napoli, returning to the last club he actually played significant minutes at after a wasted season with Bayern Munich.

Reina has played a grand total of 193 minutes with the German champions this season, and his first campaign in Bavaria came to an undignified end when he was sent off just 13 minutes in to a match with Augsburg earlier this month. Forced in to the move to Bayern mostly because he and Napoli couldn't come to terms on wages a year ago, now Reina wants to return to Italy to get things back on track.

While when the rumors first emerged it was believed that a Reina return hinged on Rafa Benitez staying with the club next season, but now it seems like Reina's determined to come back to Naples to matter what, and Aurelio De Laurentiis is more than happy to make it so. Now the German media is treating his departure from Bayern and move to Napoli as basically a foregone conclusion, and it looks like the partenopei are all but a transfer agreement and official announcement away from having a new goalkeeper.

The current belief is that Reina will sign a three year deal worth around €60,000 per week. That's a steep dropoff from what Reina's made in the past, but after playing only three matches this season and a poor goalkeeping market forcing him to take a backup role a year ago, he doesn't have much of a choice in that matter. That works out well for Napoli, who get the 32 year old shot stopper for a much more affordable wage than he wanted last season, which would have been the second-highest of any player in the squad.

While Napoli have yet to come to a formal agreement with Bayern, it certainly is starting to look like their first signing of the summer is just about squared away.