Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is expected to spend the 2013/14 Premier League season on loan with Serie A club Napoli, according to the Guardian. The 30-year-old shot stopper made 31 Premier League starts last season and 39 in all competitions.
Reina signed for the Reds in 2005, when he was brought to Anfield by former manager Rafael Benitez. He excelled under the Spaniard, rapidly earning himself a place as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.
However, following the signing of Belgium international Simon Mignolet earlier this summer, Reina's No 1 place at Anfield has looked uncertain. The Madrid-born former Barcelona goalkeeper has also been linked with a return to the Catalans for the new season, as well as a short trip across London to Arsenal.
Reina will re-unite with former manager Benitez at the Italian club, after the latter left Chelsea in May. According to Sky Sports, the player will arrive in Italy for a medical and will complete the transfer some time this weekend.
The BBC believes Benitez's signing of Reina comes after a similar deal for QPR No 1 Julio Cesar broke down. Napoli finished second in the Serie A last season and have qualified to play in this year's Champions League, something Liverpool could not manage. That could certainly have played a part in Reina's decision to swap Anfield for San Paolo, at least temporarily.
Meanwhile, Reina's expected departure means academy goalkeeper Danny Ward has flown to Australia, where the first team is on a pre-season tour. Brendan Rodgers now has Mignolet as No 1, Australian Brad Jones as No 2 and Ward as No 3 goalkeepers.
Rodgers and the Reds' first team will play the Indonesian national side on Saturday evening, at Jakarta's Gelora Bung Karo Stadium. Liverpool beat Preston North End 4-0 in their first friendly of the pre-season and have further games against Australian A-League club Melbourne Victory and the Thailand national side this month.