x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praises goalkeeper Jose Reina and dismisses transfer chatter

Jose Reina has been in between the pipes at Liverpool since 2005 and manager Brendan Rodgers wants his run in Merseyside to continue.

Goalkeeper Jose Reina has been a mainstay at Liverpool for the last eight years. Scott Heppell / AP Photo
Goalkeeper Jose Reina has been a mainstay at Liverpool for the last eight years. Scott Heppell / AP Photo

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is confident Jose Reina will still be at the club next season.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper moved to Anfield in July 2005 and has been a constant through the many managerial changes and subsequent squad upheaval.

Persistent rumours have linked Reina with a move away from Merseyside this summer but Rodgers has seen no signs that the Spaniard is headed for the exit door.

The manager said: "He's never been unsettled and our relationship is very strong. I have given him and a few of the senior boys real responsibility and I think they have enjoyed that.

"I see him as someone who is going to be here. He is 30 years of age and is someone who looks after his body. The sports science team this year have worked really well with him.

"I think he's been outstanding and had great focus and hopefully that will continue for us."

Arsenal and Barcelona have been mooted as likely destinations for Reina, whose father, Miguel, said earlier this year that his son would like to return to Barcelona, where he began his career.

Barcelona's current goalkeeper, Victor Valdes, has revealed that he wishes to leave the club at the end of the season, but Rodgers warned against reading too much into media reports.

He said: "I think a lot of the stuff this year has been based on speculation with [Victor] Valdes going, or possibly going, there have been links they [Barcelona] will be in for another keeper. His dad has said some things and whatever.

"Pepe and I speak a lot. He's a good man and I've got real respect for him as a player and as a human being.

"He understands everything we are trying to do here and is a great voice in the little debriefing meetings we have with the group and with the defenders and other goalkeepers. He's brilliant."

Meanwhile, Liverpool have announced they are to play in Australia against A-League side Melbourne Victory in a friendly on July 24.

The visit will be Liverpool's first to the country and is expected to attract more than 70,000 fans to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said: "We know we have a large fan base in Australia and New Zealand and this visit shows our commitment to bringing the club closer to our fans."

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