Napoli shot stopper Pepe Reina is set to reunite with former manager Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United when the Premier League resumes in August.
They were together at Anfield and when Benitez moved to the Serie A to coach Napoli, he brought in the Spaniard.
Reina has just a year left on his deal and he is 34 years old. United were hoping they could get him easily but the £5million price tag is putting the Magpies off. Benitez wants an experienced hand this season so he was exploring going for Reina.
After Manchester City released Willy Caballero, it seems Newcastle could look at that direction. The manager of the Serie A side Maurizio Sarri has insisted that Reina is crucial to the team and a loyal player of the club so he expects him to remain.
Reina was the main man as Napoli finished in the top three of the Italian top flight. They secured Champions League football and are better suited for exposure compared to United. Only the strong bond between the keeper and Benitez can convince him to move back to England.
Sarri spoke highly of Reina when he was interviewed by Corrieredello Sport. He claims Reina is a very strong personality in the dressing room. He added that the former Red goalie has “better feet than any other goalkeeper in the world.”
Benitez wants a top hand in between the sticks. It seems he is not very interested in Tim Krul and Freddie Woodman set to return from AZ Alkmaar and Kilmarnock when there are keepers like Karl Darlow, Matz Sets and of course Rob Elliot. Woodman would likely go elsewhere on loan while Benitez would sell two others to get a top rated hand.