Napoli: 'Pepe Reina will return to Liverpool'

Pepe Reina of Spain in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group B match between Spain and Tahiti on June 20, 2013
© Getty Images
Napoli confirm that they expect Pepe Reina to rejoin Liverpool when his loan expires next summer, but refuse to completely rule out a permanent move.

Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon has revealed that the club currently have no plans to sign Pepe Reina permanently, expecting the Spanish stopper to return to Liverpool at the end of the season.

Reina joined Napoli on a season-long loan after Liverpool signed Simon Mignolet early this summer, fearing that his first-team chances would be restricted at Anfield.

Bigon has refused to rule out a permanent move but expects Reina to rejoin Liverpool next season, talking up Brazilian youngster Rafael Cabral's chances of becoming first-choice in the near future.

He told Tutto Mercato Web: "Keep Reina? At the end of this year he will return to Liverpool.

"In life you can look again at everything, but to date Reina is a Liverpool player. It is too early to talk about it, at the moment we have only taken him on loan.

"When Morgan de Sanctis raised the idea of joining another club we tried Rafael as a first-choice goalkeeper, the Brazilian will be the future of the club. Reina, we chose him because Rafael Benitez knew him well."

The 31-year-old has been ever-present for Napoli so far this season, hitting the headlines for becoming the first goalkeeper to save a penalty from Italy striker Mario Balotelli.

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez prior to kick-off against Southampton on March 30, 2013
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