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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

Man City sizing up former Liverpool goalkeeper as Claudio Bravo's future remains uncertain

Pepe Reina could be returning to the Premier League where he spent nine years at Liverpool.

Pepe Reina has spent the last two seasons back at Napoli following a year at Bayern Munich.
Pepe Reina has spent the last two seasons back at Napoli following a year at Bayern Munich.
Image: EMPICS Sport

CLAUDIO BRAVO’S TORRID time at Manchester City could be coming to an end as the club continue to pursue former Liverpool number one Pepe Reina.

Man City are understood to have already had a £2.5 million bid for the Spanish international turned down according to the Guardian but could secure the 34-year-old’s services for just £4.5 million.

Reina returned to Napoli in 2015 following one season at Bayern Munich and made 37 appearances in Serie A in 2016/17.

Last term saw the goalkeeper enjoy another successful campaign.

Helping Napoli to secure Champions League football in third place, Reina kept 12 clean sheets last season – just one less than Gianluigi Buffon and the same number as AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma.

City broke the transfer record for a goalkeeper already this summer with the acquisition of Benfica’s Ederson for £34.7 million.

However manager Pep Guardiola is seeking to add more depth to the position following the imminent departure of Joe Hart on loan to West Ham, as well as the likely exit of Bravo after just one season.

Champions League - Borussia Dortmund vs S.L. Benfica Reina could act as understudy to Ederson who signed from Benfica for a record £34.6 million. Source: DPA/PA Images

Bravo was one of Guardiola’s first signings last summer, costing the Blues £18 million. However his time at the Etihad proved disastrous, resulting in the purchase of Ederson as his first-choice replacement ahead of next season.

Reina and Guardiola spent a season as team-mates at Barcelona in 2001 before a move to Villarreal in 2002 where he spent three years.

The goalkeeper signed for Rafael Benitez in July 2005 and would spend nine seasons at Liverpool, making 285 appearances while winning three Premier League Golden Gloves as well as the FA Cup in a heroic penalty shoot-out 2006.

Soccer - FA Barclays Premiership - Liverpool v Everton - Anfield Reina made 285 appearances for Liverpool, winning the Golden Glove three times. Source: EMPICS Sport

A goalkeeping merry-go-round has taken place at Man City since Guardiola’s arrival last summer.

After six seasons as first-choice goalkeeper where he won a record four Golden Gloves, Joe Hart was sent on loan to Torino 12 months ago.

Bravo, meanwhile, signed following a treble-winning year at Barcelona but failed to consistently maintain his name on the team-sheet after a string of high-profile errors.

Willy Caballero replaced Bravo as first-choice goalkeeper in the second half of last season and City have all but sounded the death knell of Bravo’s time at the club with the addition of Brazilian Ederson from Benfica.

With the departure of 35-year-old Caballero to Chelsea this month on a free transfer, Reina could prove an experienced, reliable and tested backup for Ederson.

The highly-rated Brazilian broke Gianluigi Buffon’s 16-year transfer record for a goalkeeper with his £34.7 million move from Benfica earlier this month.

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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