“Owners Blocked My £20m Move To Arsenal”
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has revealed he almost joined Arsenal for £20m in 2010, only for the move to be blocked by Anfield officials.
The 29-year-old disclosed the details in his new autobiography, claiming the Gunners had lodged a firm bid of £20m for his services and the Spaniard asked for permission to speak to Arsene Wenger, only to be told he would have to remain at Liverpool.
However, the reason he was told he must stay was because Anfield officials felt selling him would send out the wrong message to potential new owners, as then owners George Gillet and Tom Hicks were at odds and trying to engineer the sale of the Merseyside club.
When I signed my contract in April 2010 I hoped that better times were just around the corner, a feeling that was fuelled by the promises of improvement from people at the club.
It didn’t take me long to feel that their promises were hollow. I felt betrayed. Our owners were at war with each other, the club’s debts were spiralling out of control and a change in manager had failed to dispel the feeling that we were on the road to nowhere.
Arsenal had made their determination to sign me clear by offering £20m, a phenomenal amount for a goalkeeper. Part of me felt that I was well within my rights to consider my future even if I did so with a heavy heart.
When Liverpool received the bid, they rejected it. This was not because I had been told that I was too good a keeper to leave. The reason I was given was quite different – and it left me feeling down. I was told that my continued presence was crucial to the sale of the club. I was simply a bargaining chip in the sales process.
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