By Pete Mulroy, May 31, 2013 08:28 AM EDT
(PHOTO CREDIT: Creative Commons) Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina may return to Barcelona this summer.
With current goalkeeper Victor Valdes expected to depart this summer, Barcelona will be in obvious need of a replacement between the pipes.
One of the most recognizable clubs in the world, Barca will surely want to replace Valdes with a capable yet known goalie and they may soon have their man after a season that saw the club fall in the semifinal round of the UEFA Champions League tournament.
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Current Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina continues to be in the discussion as to someone who will become the next goalie at Camp Nou. While he has addressed the situation on multiple occasions in the past, Reina insists that a move to Barcelona would certainly be worthy of consideration, even if the rumors are premature.
"Rumors are difficult to control, but you are flattered when a club like Barcelona is interested," Reina said last week when interview by Spanish radio Cadena Ser. "I know the club perfectly, I grew up there. I do not know if there have been contacts between the clubs or with my agent, so at the moment I do not believe there has been anything serious."
The 30-year-old native of Madrid, Spain played for Barca's top squad from 2000-2002, making 30 appearances in net. Following his words suggesting that talks between his agent and the club are not serious, Reina did note this week that it would be tough to not at least think about rejoining the international power.
"It's difficult to say no to Barca," Reina said to The Daily Express. "Although I have not heard anything from the club. I am calm, rumors are always there, but I have a contract and I am happy at Liverpool."
Reina still has 3 years remaining on his contract with Liverpool and although a potential move to Barcelona is enticing, the Spanish keeper has enjoyed his 8 seasons with the English Premier League club, a team he helped win the 2005 UEFA Champions League title and the 2006 FA Cup.
"It is difficult to leave Liverpool," Reina said to ESPN. "It would have to be to improve, to grow, and at this moment it is very difficult to improve on what I have."
The upcoming offseason in the sport of soccer is expected to be full of excitement as various transfer rumors and coaching changes are already beginning to surface. The potential move involving Pepe Reina will surely be a storyline to keep an eye on heading into the 2013-2014 campaign.