Will Liverpool man stay or will he go?

According to Spanish radio station Onda Cero, Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is not considering a move away from Anfield just yet. Reina told Onde Cero he was “happy and satisfied at Liverpool” and has the intention to see out the remaining three years of his contract. However, newspaper reports are continually linking Sunderland ‘keeper Simon Mignolet, 25, with a move to Brendan Rodgers’ side. How can we take this from Reina?

It’s a bit of a clichè but anything can happen in football as we often hear players say. This, for me is generally a smoke screen where they really mean “I don’t have my exit sorted yet…”. How many times have we heard this type of line from players, only for them to be gone within a fortnight? This kind of statement is a little like the players’ version of the Chairman’s Dreaded vote of confidence as it’s come to be known. “We’re fully committed to so and so and he has our full backing” Next thing, the axe falls!

My opinion is that Rodgers knows that Reina is not whole heartedly set on staying and is therefore covering his options and lining up a suitable replacement. Let’s face it, most of us don’t know what’s really going on behind the manager’s door. Reina’s form has steadily declined over the last two or three seasons and I don’t believe it’s just a coincidence that things have begun to go Pete Tong at just the same time that speculation started about a move to Barcelona. 

Conversely, this could well be a motivating trick from Rodgers. We saw him do the same thing last season. Telling Stewart Downing he had no future at the club, only for him to pick himself up after a good moan and put in some sterling work over Christmas and the remainder of the season. Another thing to note, is that Reina isn’t exactly sweating for his place in the team. The current cover, Brad Jones, is more of a stop-gap. He isn’t a bad ‘keeper. To be fair to him, he’s decent, but not all that. His performances haven’t been that bad and he was even awarded an extended contract. He just doesn’t cut it for me. I can’t really say why. I’m sure most LFC supporters think the same. I’ve not heard any singing his praises, put it that way.

Hence Mignolet would make tough competition for the ‘keeper’s jersey and this is no mean thing. As for whether Reina is playing cloak and daggers only time will tell but I remain of the belief that the position of goalkeeper is not one that is best filled right now.