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Manchester City make bid for Pepe Reina

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Napoli have a question to answer.

Empoli FC v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Pepe Reina has a lot of questions swirling around him right now. How many more years will he play? Are he and Aurelio De Laurentiis ever going to make up? Is he ever going to sign the contract Napoli offered him? Now there’s one more to answer: what’s going to happen with this rumor of an offer from Manchester City?

That’s right: in the midst of an ongoing contract drama, in which Napoli offered the Spanish veteran a new two-year deal over a week ago with no apparent response, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have come calling. Reports from England indicate that they’ve lodged a bid worth nearly €3 million for Reina, intending to make him the backup to new signing Ederson, with Claudio Bravo on the outs at the Etihad Stadium.

Reina became a star in goal in the Premier League with Liverpool, where he spent the majority of his career before originally coming to Napoli. He’s long talked about his love for the city and wanting to spend his long-term future in Naples, but recent tension between Reina and De Laurentiis — seemingly stemming from jokes made in poor taste at the club’s end-of-season dinner — has left many wondering if he’ll still be around this season.

The reports of this offer would certainly help explain why Napoli are rumored to be chasing after Orestis Karnezis and Alex Meret from Udinese, which would allow Napoli to replace Reina in the short term with Karnezis and in the long term with Meret if things work out as they hope. It’s not the worst plan — but if they’re going to sell Reina, they need to move quickly to make it happen, because they cannot afford to waste any time if Reina walks away.

Napoli need to spend a lot of money in goal this summer, and if Reina leaves, that need becomes all the more urgent. The partenopei need to handle this perfectly no matter how it turns out, and that’s an idea that makes a lot of fans very, very nervous.