• Premier League

Napoli cannot afford Reina wages, says Benitez

ESPN staff
June 12, 2014
Pepe Reina spent last season on loan at Napoli © Getty Images

Napoli manager Rafa Benitez says his club have given up on signing Pepe Reina from Liverpool because they cannot afford his wages.

Reina has just completed a season's loan at Napoli and has spoken warmly of Benitez, who took him to Anfield from Villarreal in 2005.

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The goalkeeper has two years left on his Liverpool contract but has little prospect of regaining a first-team place there as Simon Mignolet has established himself as the No.1 following a £9 million move from Sunderland in 2013.

Benitez, who spent six years in charge at Liverpool before leaving in 2010, thinks there is little chance of him securing Reina on a permanent deal.

"Pepe has two years left on his contract with Liverpool, so I think he has to go back and stay there," he told talkSPORT.

"We cannot afford his wages at the moment. The Premier League is very important and we can't pay big salaries in another country like they do in England. So Pepe will go back and he will fight for his position."

Reina's agent Manuel Garcia Quilon indicated earlier this week that a permanent move to Napoli was unlikely because the fee Liverpool wanted was too high.

However, Reina said on Wednesday that another loan move to Naples was still a possibility, although Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to move on fringe member of his squad to fund new signings before next season's return to the Champions League.

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