Report: Newcastle eye available World Cup winner, Benitez keen on deal
By Derek Smithson
Newcastle are interested in signing Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Magpies want to bring the 34-year-old to St James’ Park in the summer and that manager Rafael Benitez would be keen on signing a player he previously worked with at Liverpool.
It is understood that Benitez is hoping to wrap up a deal for him soon as he looks to improve his squad for a Premier League return.
The report details that Reina is available this summer for transfer after a falling out between his wife and Napoli’s president on social media.
Reina is an experienced professional that has won numerous silverware during his career, including the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and a German league title with Bayern Munich.
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The goalkeeper has been an important player for Italian giants Napoli this year, who can still finish second in the league table going into the final week of fixtures.
He has made 47 appearances across all competitions this campaign and kept 14 clean sheets in return.
Newcastle are looking to bring Reina back to the Premier League and he has the know-how after a nine-year spell at Anfield with Liverpool.
Football Insider verdict:
Newcastle do already have Karl Darlow as their number one option and he may deserve a chance in the top flight next season, but they should not miss out on the chance to sign Reina. The experienced goalkeeper would be a brilliant addition to the north-east club and could certainly challenge for a starting spot. Benitez is a big fan of the 34-year-old and knows that he could do a job in the Premier League, so making a move for the available star makes sense. Reina may be reaching the back-end of his career, but proved this year with Napoli that he is still a top-class goalkeeper.
In other Newcastle transfer news, they are receiving strong interest in defender Grant Hanley.