There’s some good news today for Newcastle in our attempts to sign Pepe Reina from Napoli since they seem to have been given a boost by his agent Manuel Garcia Quillon.
Quillon has now admitted that Pepe may consider returning to England to play in the Premier League if he cannot get a deal with Napoli – although he wants to stay in Naples.
At the same time the veteran 34 year-old goalkeeper is negotiating with Napoli on a contract extension.
Those negotiations have now stalled after Pepe wanted bigger wages and a longer extension than the two years the Italian club offered, but he could get those wages and maybe a three year deal at Newcastle, if Rafa Benitez can persuade his former Liverpool goalkeeper to make the switch to the Tyneside club.
The Sun is reporting that while Newcastle are keen to sign the goalie they are not willing to pay the £5M valuation of a player who has only one year left on his contract and is 34 years old.
There’s no doubt Reina’s a very good and experienced goalkeeper and if signed he would be Newcastle’s number one goalkeeper.
Rafa wants him because he has always been a leader in the dressing room and has a first class attitude to playing the game and Pepe has had had a lot of success in his career.
Rafa seems to want a lot more experience and stability in the Newcastle defense which looked a little dodgy at times last season in the Championship.
Reina has over playing over 700 games for Barcelona, Villareal, Liverpool, Napoli and Bayern Munich – he was in Germany for one season in 2014-2015.
Three of those clubs – Villareal, Liverpool and Napoli were at the time managed by Rafa Benitez when Reina arrived.
This is what his agent Manuel Garcia Quillon told Italian outlet Calciomercato when asked about a possible return to Spain.
“No, there’s nothing,” “In Italy there’s only Napoli.” “The Premier League? We’re talking about an important player who a lot of teams would like, but his priority is to stay with Napoli.”
“Is a renewal impossible? I don’t know, we discussed it but for now we haven’t moved forward.”
Reina has been told by Napoli Sporting Director Pietro Lo Monaco to reduce his expectations for the deal: this is what Monaco told Italian TV program Marte Sport Live:
“Reina has to understand,” “He is a charismatic player in the dressing room and has his value, but if he is honest he should say that his technical performance this year was not that of a top goalkeeper.”
“There is also his age. To ask for three years seems a bit exaggerated. Napoli are right to look around at other goalkeepers.”
That looks like the Italian club’s line of thinking about Pepe.
If a deal cannot be reached with the former Liverpool goalkeeper there’s got to be a very good chance that Newcastle can finally sign Rafa Benitez,m although this potential deal is dragging on a little bit.
As a reminder, this is what Rafa had said last month when the possibility of signing Reina was first raised by the local Newcastle press:
“I have a great personal relationship with Reina – he’s a great goalkeeper.”
“Pepe is a great player but above all a leader in the dressing room. We missed him at Napoli in the year he went to Bayern Munich – he can make a difference both on and off the pitch.”
“Would I take him to Newcastle if he left? I respect Napoli – as that’s where he is – and our club has a lot of goalkeepers who are doing well.”
“We need to be calm, we’ll talk to the club and decide on our targets.”
What do you think?