Speculation about the 30-year-old goalkeeper’s future has been rife since Simon Mignolet joined Liverpool last month but Willie Duncan expects the Spaniard to stay at Anfield
Following another disappointing Premier League campaign for Liverpool in 2012/13, the pressure is on manager Brendan Rodgers as the Northern Irishman looks to assemble a squad capable of challenging for Champions League qualification places in the season ahead.
The Reds have already brought in a number of new faces ahead of the upcoming campaign but it is the capture of 25-year-old goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland that has attracted the bulk of the attention thus far.
Mignolet cost the Reds £9 million when he signed on at Anfield last month and the Belgian ‘keeper looks set to engage in a fierce battle with current incumbent Pepe Reina to be Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper next term.
There has been plenty of speculation that Mignolet’s arrival may signal the end of Reina’s Anfield career and Paddy Power offer just 4/7 (1.57) that the 30-year-old Spaniard, who has made 285 appearances for the Reds, moves on before the summer transfer window closes.
Rodgers, though, was quick to quash speculation that the acquisition of Mignolet would spell the end of Reina’s time at Anfield and Paddy Power offer 5/4 (2.25) that he is still a Liverpool player when the transfer window closes.
Reina has been a stalwart at Anfield since joining the club in 2005 but may be forced to move on in pursuit of first-team football should he find himself playing second fiddle to Mignolet when the new season starts.
However, the Spanish stopper is unlikely to be in any hurry to call time on his Liverpool career and there is value in Paddy Power’s 5/4 (2.25) quote that Reina remains a Red beyond the end of August.
Should Reina leave Liverpool, the lure of a move to Barcelona may well prove too much for the 30-year-old ‘keeper to ignore.
The Catalan giants are hot favourites at just 1/4 (1.25) with Paddy Power to be Reina’s next club, while Arsenal are chalked up as 7/1 (8.0) second favourites with the same firm to snap up the vastly experienced stopper.
Napoli are next in the betting at 15/2 (8.50) with Paddy Power to lure Reina away from Anfield, while the Irish odds compilers offer 12/1 (13.0) that big-spending Monaco bring in the Spanish ‘keeper.
A move to Manchester United is chalked up as a 14/1 (15.0) shot with Paddy Power but, in truth, a move anywhere other than Barcelona is an unlikely proposition if Reina does indeed leave Anfield.
It is the timing of any move, though, that is the true debating point here. Professional pride may well play a part in any decision here while Reina’s loyalty to Liverpool is another factor worthy of consideration.
Therefore, the 5/4 (2.25) quote for the Spanish stopper to remain at Anfield and fight for his place beyond the end of this summer’s transfer window is the value play.
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter