Belfast Telegraph

Rodgers: Reina has Reds future

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has reiterated his stance that new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has been brought in to provide to competition for Jose Reina and not become his replacement.

Reina's future was a subject for debate all last season, with the 30-year-old being linked with a return to former club Barcelona, and Mignolet's arrival only increased speculation about an impending exit.

But Rodgers is adamant Reina knew of his plans to strengthen the goalkeeping department and the Reds boss dismissed suggestions the £9million Belgium international was a straightforward replacement.

"I always felt it was important for us to have competition right the way through the squad, and that includes the goalkeepers," he said. "I spoke to Pepe about this a few months back and told him we wanted to bring in another goalkeeper as real competition. I was very open with my goalkeepers and they know the situation.

"Pepe has been terrific here, Brad Jones was excellent when he stood in last year and I felt we needed another one. Simon comes in and we've got great competition and when you've got competition it pushes everyone to perform."

Reina appeared to be being lined up as the long-term successor to Victor Valdes at the Nou Camp but his compatriot has insisted he will see out the remainder of his contract with the Catalan club before seeking a new challenge.

With no approach made to Liverpool for their Spanish goalkeeper it is expected he will rejoin his team-mates for their summer tour matches in Australia (July 24) and Thailand (July 28).

Liverpool's opponents in Australia are Melbourne Victory and coach Ange Postecoglou, as a childhood Reds fan, is eagerly awaiting their visit.

"Growing up in Australia, the old English first division was the one we used to watch on our TV sets," he told Press Association Sport. "It wasn't just the fact Liverpool were successful in the 1970s and 1980s. It was the stories behind that.

"From the Shankly era, I gained an attachment to the club and an attachment to coaching from there. It will be a massive thrill for me to be able to coach against them."

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