by Michael Pearson
Pepe Reina is disappointed by the manner of his Anfield departure.
An open letter, posted on the goalkeepers official website, reveals Reina only found out about his transfer to Napoli after it had already been agreed and finalised.
“Although it was not my decision to leave, I will accept it, just like I have always accepted any decision that Liverpool have taken for me,”
“They signed me, picked me, gave me some of the best experiences of my life and looked after me,” he continued.
“If they feel that the best thing for me and for them is for me to go on loan to Napoli for a season then so be it.
“Napoli is a new challenge for me and I know that the fans are just as passionate about their team as the Liverpool fans, so I am really looking forward to playing for them this season and I will give my all.
“But if I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving. It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first, I thought that I deserved better than that even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football.
“A lot has been made about me informing the club that if an offer came in from Barcelona that I would have liked them to consider it.
“But I had also spoken to the club about the possibility of extending my contract if the offer was not made.
“I told the manager that I wanted to play for Liverpool and that Barcelona would only become an option for me if the opportunity arrived, like the rumours said it would, as it would be a chance for me to go back home.
“When it didn’t come, I was happy to fight for my place, so I was surprised that Liverpool decided it was in the club´s interests to send me to Napoli instead.
“None of this will change my feelings for the club or the people in any way and now I have to look forward to a new challenge with Rafa Benitez, who I consider to be the best manager I have worked with, and I am fortunate to be going from one great club to another.
“Napoli remind me in many ways of the Liverpool I found in 2005, in all the affection they have shown me on my arrival, in having an ambitious project, even in coinciding and working with Benitez again.”
Speaking about the Reina deal last week, Brendan Rodgers said: “As manager I was led to believe we were going to get an offer for Pepe Reina that would probably see him leave the club.
“Obviously, on the football side we had to ensure we protected the team. At that stage we started our search for another goalkeeper and we found Simon Mignolet, who is top class and one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.
“As events transpired, Pepe’s move didn’t quite happen and that left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the No 1 position.
“An opportunity then arose for Pepe that we felt as a football club was probably best for him.”