Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has reportedly emerged as a shock candidate to replace Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea this summer.
According to a report by TransferMarketWeb, Chelsea have identified former Liverpool custodian, Pepe Reina as the latest, shock candidate to replace Thibaut Courtois in the summer transfer window. The Blues are in desperate search of a new goalkeeper, with Real Madrid the favourites to sign their current number one, Courtois.
Reina has enjoyed a second coming in his career over the last three seasons, having played a key role in Napoli’s return to the top echelons of Italian football. During this period, the former Liverpool man has also established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Serie A. His stint at Napoli though, ended this summer, with the 35-year-old joining AC Milan on a free transfer.
However, with the Rossoneri finding themselves in financial turmoil, Reina might just be set for an early exit from San Siro. And, his former Napoli manager, Maurizio Sarri, who is now at Chelsea, is scouring the possibility of bringing the veteran goalkeeper back to the Premier League in a shock move.
Chelsea are all but set to lose Thibaut Courtois, who has hinted towards a possible departure from the Bridge this summer. Sarri is adamant that he would like to keep hold of the Belgian shot stopper – and some other unsettled players in his squad. But, it appears unlikely that Courtois will commit his future to the Blues.
The Chelsea boss has thus, been forced into the market to identify the perfect replacement for Courtois, with Reina emerging as the latest such candidate. The reason provided for the same though, is slightly perplexing, with the report claiming that Milan’s expulsion from the UEFA Europa League could force them to sell the former Liverpool goalkeeper, among others.
However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has overturned UEFA’s ban on the Rossoneri, and have instructed them to “issue a proportionate disciplinary measure”. The bigger problem at hand is the financial turmoil that Milan find themselves in, which could force them to sell several first-team players, which Chelsea and Sarri could look to take advantage of.
Still, offloading a summer arrival makes little sense unless they succeed in retaining Gianluigi Donnarumma, who also faces an uncertain future at Milan. Should they decide to part ways with Reina though, Chelsea will be the favourites to secure the services of the former Liverpool goalkeeper.
The situation at AC Milan continues to get murkier, despite their return to the Europa League. It will be interesting to see if Reina becomes an expendable due to the circumstances the Rossoneri find themselves in. For Chelsea, Reina is a viable short-term target to provide stability at the back with the player enjoying a second coming in the Premier League, four years after his stellar Liverpool stint ended.