• Premier League

Rodgers rubbishes Reina exit talk

ESPN staff
April 3, 2013
Pepe Reina says he is enjoying life at Liverpool © Getty Images

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has moved to ease concerns about the future of Pepe Reina by insisting he is counting on the keeper for next season.

Reina's form this term has been a notch below his consistent brilliance of recent seasons and he has been linked with a move to Barcelona as the replacement for Victor Valdes.

Last month, Reina dismissed talk of a rift with Rodgers and insisted he was enjoying his football at Anfield.

Exit talk continues to swirl, but Rodgers is not planning for life without Reina.

Rodgers said: "I am counting on him for next season, yes.

"He's never been unsettled and our relationship is very strong.

"Pepe and I speak a lot. He's a good man and I've real respect for him."

Should Reina remain at Anfield, he will be heading on a summer trip to Australia as part of the club's pre-season schedule.

The Reds will face Melbourne Victory in July 24 at the MCG and Ian Ayre, Liverpool's managing director, said: "This will be the first time that the club has visited Australia to play a match and we are delighted to be playing against Melbourne Victory, one of the most successful clubs in the A-League."

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