After Liverpool, where next for Pepe Reina?

Liverpool are on the verge of signing Simon Mignolet from Sunderland for £11m, and that means that Pepe Reina will be rooted to the bench. He can’t afford that, and Liverpool can’t afford that. There are only three spots in the Spain World Cup squad and with David De Gea trying to force his way in to the Casillas, Valdes, Reina congestion, it’s vital that the Liverpool man is a starter. For Liverpool, having a £90k a week second choice goalkeeper doesn’t fit their financial strategy in any way and they could get something in the £5-8m region for him. He’ll be a wanted man, so here are the best options for him.


Barcelona

CA Osasuna v FC Barcelona - Liga BBVA

Why would they sign him?

Victor Valdes has announced that he is leaving the club at the end of his contract which expires in June 2014. As such, Barcelona need to replace him, and some fans would argue, to upgrade on him. Barcelona need a keeper who is able to distribute the ball effectively. With the new addition of Neymar, this no longer means passing it 10 yards to Xavi, but he needs to be able to find Neymar’s clever runs over a longer range. He has that ability and showed it with Torres and Suarez at Liverpool. Barcelona don’t concede many shots on goal so they need a keeper who can concentrate and Reina has that ability. He could do with a fresh start.

Will it happen?

5/10 – Of these five options Reina probably isn’t first choice as they seem to be zeroing in on young German Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen. With Valdes still in place, they may not feel any rush to get it done.

Napoli

FBL-ENG-FACUP-SOUTHAMPTON-CHELSEA

Why would they sign him?

Current Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis is 36 now and can stand to be upgraded upon. Rafa Benitez took Reina to Liverpool and it was under his fellow Spaniard that he enjoyed his best form. Napoli are preparing for the Champions league and have brought Benitez to Naples to try and win Serie A, so are serious about signing quality. The Serie A style will suit Reina as his one recent weakness, box command aerially, is not so much of an issue as teams tend to play their way through defences rather than bludgeoning.

Will it happen?

8/10 – I fancy this will be where he goes. Napoli will have £55m in their pocket from selling Cavani and do need a goalkeeper. Benitez and Reina still admire each other.

Monaco

Monaco's players celebrate after a goal

Why would they sign him?

They’re accumulating players for the outfield but haven’t done much about solidifying their defence. Reina would be a massive upgrade and would become one of the top three keepers in France instantly, maybe the best. This would be the kind of signing Monaco need to make if they are to be a true team. They can have all the attackers in the world, but if they don’t have a proper defence and goalkeeper, they won’t win anything.

Will it happen?

2/10 – Reina doesn’t seem to be the type to be swayed by the money on offer, preferring to compete for his trip to Brazil in an elite league.

AC Milan

AC Milan v SSC Napoli - Serie A

Why would they sign him?

Current occupant Christian Abbiati is not a proper solution. Milan have a pedigree for having some of the best keepers in the world but Abbiati is not in that class. He’s 35 now and really should be a back up. Milan have got a lively and vibrant attack but against Barcelona last season, their defensive frailties were exposed at the Nou Camp. Reina would bring organisation and discipline to a defence which needs it. If they want to beat Juventus and Napoli in Serie A, they need to address the position properly.

Will it happen?

6/10 – Milan like big names and big moves. They surprised everyone by signing Balotelli in January. They need Reina and he’s probably the best and most affordable option on the market. Might want to beat Napoli to his signature.

Spartak Moscow

FC Spartak Moskva v PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara - Russian Premier League

Why would they sign him?

Spartak have an excellent attack, one that can win the Russian League and get out of a group in the Champions League. They have some decent defenders too, but they don’t have a proper goal keeper and this is costing them domestically. They are the second highest scorers in the league but have conceded 14 more than league leading Zenit. It needs to be addressed with quality in goal and Reina would be perfect for that.

Will it happen?

3/10 – He makes great sense, it’s a good team in a strong league with European aspirations. But will he fancy moving to the cold of Moscow?

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