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Reds Ace Reveles: “Arsenal Were Determined To Sign Me”

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has revealed he nearly signed for Arsenal in a £20m deal 2 years ago but the move was blocked by Liverpool owners….

Arsene Wenger may be criticized for holding back in the transfer market, but just a few summers ago, he sanctioned a £20 million bid for Liverpool’s goalkeeper, Pepe Reina. The massive bid was of course rejected by Liverpool, who were owned by the controversial George Gillett and Tom Hicks at the time, as the club suffered troubled times both on and off the pitch.

Reina revealed all in his new autobiography in which he talks openly about the turmoil surrounding Liverpool in recent years, how he felt “betrayed” by the unpopular owners and that the club were on the road to nowhere. Receiving the bid from Arsenal and Wenger was clearly an attractive prospect for the Spanish 29 year-old goalkeeper, with Arsenal in a far more stable position at the time. He writes:

“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.”

Liverpool have been lucky to keep Reina, who has always been a solid, loyal player and character at the club, appearing 317 times and keeping 146 clean sheets. It is testament to how well he has done since his transfer from Villareal that Arsenal even considered placing such a large bid for him, although with the emergence of young Sczcesny between the sticks, Arsenal fans may just be pleased that they saved £20 million for perhaps another player in another window.

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