Benitez confirms Newcastle interest in ‘great leader’ Reina

Date published: Wednesday 31st May 2017 7:58 - James Marshment

Pepe Reina: Napoli stopper

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has stepped up his chase for former Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina – and looks set to land his man in a £4m deal.

The Spanish goalkeeper has been signed twice already by Benitez for the Reds in 2005 and then again for Napoli three seasons ago.

And according to the Daily MirrorReina has become frustrated in Napoli and is looking for a fresh challenge this summer.

His situation has been exasperated by reports they want to sign Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny as his replacement.

The goalkeeper, now 34, has just 12 months left on his deal at Napoli, who finished third in Serie A and qualified for the Champions League this season.

And Benitez believes he can capitalise on this situation to persuade his former club to sell him.

Speaking about his relationship with the player, Benitez said: “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.”

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