clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mercato Madness: Pepe Reina wants Napoli return

Last season's primary goalkeeper wants to come back to Naples.

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Napoli seem to be looking for a new goalkeeper for next season, which makes sense since Rafael Cabral is out of favor and Mariano Andujar isn't a Champions League caliber goalkeeper. Who they seem to be concentrating on, and who seems to want to come, is something of a surprise, and a familiar name: Pepe Reina.

The Spanish goalkeeper played 43 times for Napoli a year ago while on loan from Liverpool, but his incredible wage demands prevented him from making the move permanent in the summer. He wanted wages that would have made him the second-highest paid player at Napoli, and not far behind Gonzalo Higuain's wages at that. Reina's performances in Italy simply didn't justify that kind of pay, especially in the second half of the season when the myriad of mistakes that left him out of favor at Liverpool crept back in to his game.

Now Reina is at Bayern Munich, serving as the backup to Manuel Neuer. Life behind the best goalkeeper in the world hasn't treated Reina well, and between the Neuer's incredible performance level and a couple more injuries of his own, the 32 year old Spaniard has played just twice all season long. Unsatisfied at his current status, Reina wants another move to allow him to play again, and be part of the Spanish national team again, as he hasn't received a callup since the World Cup.

Some believe that Reina coming back would be a condition of Rafa Benitez staying on as manager, mostly because of their long friendship and the fact that they share an agent. Apparently that's not the case, with Reina simply wanting to return to a city that he's come to like, and the Spaniard has reportedly already enrolled his son in to a Naples-area school for the next school year in the fall.

There's still a lot of questions as to whether or not this would be a good idea for Napoli to do -- at first glance, that seems questionable at best -- and what form such a deal would take, but those can be saved for another time. For now, the important thing to know is that these rumors are here, they seem very real, and it even seems like a very strong possibility that this happens.