Real Madrid are eyeing up a move for AC Milan’s second-choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina, according to AS.
Los Blancos will be on the lookout for a number two should Thibaut Courtois’ current understudy, Keylor Navas, move to Paris Saint-Germain as part of a deal that would see Brazilian forward Neymar return to Spain with Madrid.
AS report that Reina is exactly what Real are looking for in a back-up keeper; he is vastly experienced having played over 500 league games for the likes of Villarreal, Liverpool and Napoli among others, so knows exactly what it’s like playing for a huge club.
The 36-year-old has only featured four times for Milan in Serie A since arriving at the San Siro from Napoli last year, so is thought to be interested in a move back to his homeland with Madrid, where he would see out the final years of his career.
The Spain international, who has won 36 caps for his country since making his senior debut in 2005, made his name at Liverpool, winning the FA Cup, the EFL Cup and UEFA Super Cup with the Reds during his nine-year tenure in Merseyside.
Reina was loaned out to Napoli for the 2013-14 campaign, before he moved to Germany for a brief stint with Bayern Munich acting as back-up to Manuel Neuer. The Spaniard then moved back to Italy with Napoli, where he became a mainstay in the Serie A club’s starting XI, making over 100 league appearances during a three-year stay in Naples.
Reina is not the only candidate being looked at by Real, though. Also on Los Blancos’ radar are thought to be Monaco’s Danijel Subasic, 34; Roma’s Antonio Mirante, 36; and Everton’s Maarten Stekelenburg, 36, per AS.
Reina’s experience at the very top speaks for itself. He has enjoyed a fantastic career playing for some of the world’s biggest clubs and would bring a wealth of knowledge to the Madrid changing room. Indeed, former boss Rafa Benitez praised the custodian as a ‘leader’ in the dressing room and his experience of being a back-up at major clubs such as Bayern suggests he’s adept in fulfilling that role.
A graduate of the La Masia academy and a former Barcelona stopper, the World Cup winner’s 139 La Liga appearances could be invaluable.
He is also known to be a huge character to have around the camp, something that is pivotal for the success of any football team. And, after all the rumours surrounding tension at Madrid of late, they could perhaps do with a calm older head in the dressing room to ensure peace and unity remains at the Bernabeu.
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