With Vito Mannone looking uncomfortable and Wojciech Szczesny’s form questionable this season, Arsene may look to a new keeper this January, with Liverpool’s Pepe Reina topping his list. Wenger has long been an admirer of Reina and tried to sign the keeper back in 2010 to replace Almunia.
The Spanish international has returned from injury but has found himself behind Brad Jones in the pecking order, with the Australian particularly impressing against Chelsea. Reina has said himself that he knew about Arsenal’s interest and was worried about Liverpool’s motives behind rejected the offer, particularly as it was at a time when then owners Hicks and Gillett were looking to sell the club.
‘Arsenal had made their determination to sign me clear by offering £20m, a phenomenal amount for a goalkeeper. Part of me felt that I was well within my rights to consider my future even if I did so with a heavy heart.’
‘I was told that my continued presence was crucial to the sale of the club. I was simply a bargaining chip in the sales process,’ added Reina.
Reina felt betrayed by the owners when he signed a new contract in 2010, being told that the club would soon turn the corner and things would be better. He has yet to see an improvement and has worked under numerous manager’s since then, notably Hodgson, Dalglish and now Rodgers.
In Reina, the Gunners would have a vastly experienced goalkeeper, who has a presence to match his stature. He s a good shot-stopper but has not been in the greatest of form in recent times. At the age of 30, he is perhaps about to enter his best years, and may prove to be an invaluable acquisition. However, whether Arsene would part with £20 million is the question. Also, why would Liverpool allow him to leave?