Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina has rejected the opportunity of a potential return to the Premier League with Newcastle United, according to the Express.
Despite securing Champions League football for next season after finishing third in the Serie A standings, Reina is thought to be unhappy with his life at Naples and is widely expected to leave the Italian side this summer.
Magpies boss Rafa Benitez remains hopeful of reuniting with the 34-year-old stopper and the Spanish coach publicly revealed his admiration for Reina, who failed to appear in only one Serie A game this season after establishing himself as Maurizio Sarri’s first-choice keeper
Benitez said: “I have a great personal relationship with Reina. He’s a great goalkeeper.
“Pepe is a great player, but above all, a leader in the dressing room. We missed him at Napoli in the year he went to Bayern Munich, he can make a difference both on and off the pitch.
“Would I take him to Newcastle if he left? I respect Napoli, as that’s where he is, and our club has a lot of goalkeepers who are doing well. We need to be calm, we’ll talk to the club and decide on our targets.”
The Spanish duo enjoyed fair success during their time together at Liverpool and some reports suggest that Reina has already agreed of moving to the St James’ Park but recent reports by the Express claim that the 34-year-old has turned down the chance of returning to the Premier League in favor of staying at the Naples.
Reina, who has made 135 appearances for the Italian side since joining from Bayern Munich in 2015, has one year left on his contract with Napoli.