Napoli have announced that on-loan goalkeeper Pepe Reina will return to Liverpool once his spell at the club has finished but failed to rule out whether they would be interested in signing him on a permanent basis.
The Spaniard has been impressive under Rafa Benitez this season, even becoming the first ‘keeper to save a penalty from Mario Balotelli.
Simon Mignolet has taken over Reina’s role at Liverpool and been equally successful, leading Reina to say he doesn’t think he will play for Liverpool ever again.
Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon revealed the goalkeeper would return to Anfield once his loan finished in Italy but also said it was too early to talk about signing him permanently.
"Keep Reina? At the end of this year he will return to Liverpool," said Bigon talking to Italian newspaper Tuttomercatoweb.
"In life you can look again at everything, but to date Reina is a Liverpool player.
"It is too early to talk about it, at the moment we have only taken him on loan.
"When [Morgan] De Sanctis raised the idea of joining another club we tried Rafael as a first choice goalkeeper; the Brazilian will be the future of the club. Reina, we chose him because [Rafael] Benitez knew him well."
Napoli suffered their first defeat of the season on Tuesday night as Reina returned to England to take on Arsenal.
It was only the second time this season Reina conceded more than once in a game, having previously only been beaten twice away to Chievo in a 4-2 win.