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Pepe Reina to stay with Napoli after all?

Reports are circulating that Reina won’t be leaving for Paris Saint-Germain.

SSC Napoli v Atalanta BC - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

It’s starting to look like the drama between Napoli and Pepe Reina may be coming to a close -- an in a rather unexpected way. Apparently after Sunday’s emotional reaction from the Stadio San Paolo after Napoli’s match against Atalanta, Reina’s mind started to change despite an apparent farewell gesture, leading to Monday’s apparent decision to stay put.

Most interesting was that Reina’s decision apparently comes even without an extension on his contract that expires this year, which was a major sticking point for the Spaniard all season long and a big part of why he wanted to leave. It’s a huge turnaround from just 24 hours ago, when it looked like Reina was destined to leave Napoli for good.

So now Reina looks set to stay, a theory backed up by social media postings from his wife Yolanda Ruiz, who has heralded her husband’s transfers in the past:

It’s a fascinating and sudden turnaround. The romantic would certainly want to believe the story that Napoli’s passionate fans were able to change Reina’s mind. Certainly this is a fanbase that can have a major impact on a person, as evidenced by the words of countless Napoli players over the years. And certainly Reina loves the city, a fact that he’s made very clear since he returned from his year at Bayern.

But at the same time, there’s a skeptical side to this story, one with a very different story. One that says that Paris Saint-Germain got tired of waiting and being dragged into even more drama this summer, and decided to pull their offer for a goalkeeper who was probably going to be too expensive for his worth anyways.

There’s no proof or reports of that, of course, but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise. That kind of thing happens in the transfer market all the time, and it’s far from impossible that that’s what happened here. Hopefully it’s really because of the fans turning his head back to Naples — but in today’s climate in the sport, it’s hard not to be a little skeptical.