After weeks of slow-burn rumors and reports, in the last few days the fire of Pepe Reina returning to Napoli from German giants Bayern Munich built quickly, and now we're here: Reina has completed a medical in Naples and signed a three-year contract to join Napoli on a permanent basis.
The deal was completed Tuesday to great fanfare in Naples, with fans eagerly welcoming back the Spanish goalkeeper. After a season marred by Rafael Cabral getting kicked to the curb and Mariano Andujar having more awful days than decent, bringing back a goalkeeper of Reina's reputation is something many fans have been clamoring for.
Terms of the deal between the clubs is a little uncertain right now -- there had been talk of a transfer fee around €4 million over the last several weeks, but all such reports dried up in recent days in favor of just discussing the three-year contract Reina was going to sign. Bayern Munich's press release doesn't really clear anything up -- they habitually don't mention fees unless a release clause is met, but it does mention "releasing [Reina] from his contract," which is a detail they don't typically include. So maybe Napoli paid a small fee for him, maybe they got him for free. Who knows!
Even Aurelio De Laurentiis looks excited about the deal -- at least as excited as he ever looks when he's not racing off on the back of a stranger's moped.
For their part, Bayern Munich seemed happy to accede to Reina's wishes, granting him the transfer he requested after essentially not playing for the entire season with the German club. "Reina has fit into out team in sporting -- and above all human -- terms, so we are more than happy to comply with his request," said chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen on Bayern's official website. "We wish Pepe and his family all the best for the future."
Reina's family undoubtedly played a big part in his desire to return, as his wife reportedly fell in love with the area when Reina played for Napoli two seasons ago. Now they're back for the next three seasons, hopefully to help bolster and improve Napoli's squad.