Saturday, August 03, 2013

Rafa Reveals Reina Surprise

Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has revealed his own surprise at his club’s ability to land goalkeeper Pepe Reina on loan, with the former Chelsea manager admitting that he was eyeing a deal for QPR’s Julio Cesar.

Benitez managed Pepe Reina during his time as Liverpool manager, and after taking the Napoli reins this summer he made signing a new goalkeeper his first priority.

Relegated side Queens Park Rangers have been trying to offload Brazilian international Julio Cesar, but as Napoli failed to sign the Confederations Cup winner they turned their attention to Reina, who has since finalized his move.

“Obviously I know the situation and I was surprised,” Benitez admitted to reporters, according to Sky Sports. “We were trying to sign Julio Cesar and it was a surprise for us when Pepe Reina was available.

“For us it is a big boost and it is really important because he is a great player so we are really pleased.”

Reina’s arrival in Italy sparks a revival for Napoli after the departure of Edinson Cavani in a £50 million move to Paris Saint Germain.

Benitez has also won the race for former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, who joins the club alongside two other former Real players in Raul Albiol and Jose Mario Callejon.

The four new signings will link up with Napoli star Marek Hamsik, and under Rafa Benitez will be hoping to challenge for this year’s Serie A title, which has been won by Juventus for the past two seasons.

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