London – Barcelona are expected to move to sign Liverpool’s Pepe Reina at the end of the season after Victor Valdes announced last week he will not be renewing his contract.
Valdes stunned Barca by refusing to discuss an extension to his contract, which runs out in 2014, and though he will play until the end of the season, Barca want to recruit a new goalkeeper in June.
Barca believe Liverpool would consider a bid for Spain international Reina, with manager Brendan Rodgers aware that he will have to sell key players to raise money to rebuild the current side.
Reina, 30, who missed Saturday’s game against Norwich after having surgery to repair the broken nose he sustained against Manchester United last weekend, is considered the outstanding candidate by Barca because he was raised through the club’s youth system, alongside Valdes. Reina eventually ended up at Villarreal before he was signed by Rafa Benitez for Liverpool.
Reina, who is also struggling with a thigh injury which could force him to miss next Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Oldham, was born in Madrid but once played for Catalonia in a representative game for the region, which the Catalans claim is an international match. – Mail on Sunday