LIVERPOOL are not about to replace Pepe Reina with French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Widespread speculation over the weekend linked the Reds with a move for the highly regarded Lyon keeper, with the French club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas even saying the 25-year-old would be allowed to leave “for a decent price in relation to the market”.
But despite the rumours, Liverpool have made no contact with Lyon and Reina – a target for AC Milan – remains very much part of Liverpool’s future plans.
A footballing goalkeeper with the ability to keep possession is part of new boss Brendan Rodgers’ philosophy, and Reina is one of the world’s best distributors.
The Spanish keeper created more goalscoring chances for his teammates than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League last season, according to Opta statistics, and has been credited with several assists during his Anfield career.
During a pre-season friendly against Kaiserslautern in 2006 he even came on as a late substitute in a midfield role.
Winner of the Premier League’s Golden Glove prize awarded for clean sheets in each of his first three seasons at the club, last term he suffered a handful of uncharacteristic lapses.
But the Reds are confident he can regain the form which has made him such a popular figure at Anfield and have no plans to chase Lloris.
Coincidentally, Reina was the subject of a feature on the club’s official website yesterday, ahead of his country Spain’s Euro 2012 final appearance, and was asked to name his greatest ever Reds save.
Reina declared: “The one in the last minute of the FA Cup final against West Ham, in terms of importance; a cross from Yossi Benayoun and the shot from (Nigel) Reo-Coker. Because it was the final minute we could have lost 4-3.”
Former Reds defender Fabio Aurelio, meanwhile, has suffered fresh injury heartache.
The Brazilian who played for Liverpool in two separate spells, but was constantly troubled with a succession of injuries, joined Gremio in May.
But it has been reported that Aurelio will be sidelined for six months with knee ligament damage, having been expected to make his debut this weekend.
Aurelio, 32, managed just 87 league appearances in six years at Anfield and returned to Porto Alegre earlier this month.
Unfortunately, the club have confirmed another lengthy stint on the treatment table.