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Europa League Round of 32

Rodgers: Reina going nowhere

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has rejected claims he is looking to sell goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Last Updated: 05/12/12 at 21:36 Post Comment

Pepe Reina: Joined Liverpool from Villarreal in 2005 and has made over 350 appea

Pepe Reina: Joined Liverpool from Villarreal in 2005 and has made over 350 appea

Reports claimed the Reds boss was planning a January move for Birmingham's England goalkeeper Jack Butland or young German prospect Ron-Robert Zieler.

But Rodgers denied Reina's future at Anfield was under threat and, in breaking with policy and not commenting on speculation, he stressed he was not looking at strengthening his goalkeeping options next month.

"I don't like to talk about speculation as I've know in my time at Liverpool the names we have been linked with has been incredible," he said.

"But what is worth putting on record is that I'm not looking for another goalkeeper.

"We have been linked with lots of goalkeepers. I have two very good goalkeepers - Pepe Reina and Brad Jones, who is a very loyal and capable number two. Any areas we look to improve will be in other areas."

Reina, 30, was ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury in October and Jones' performances led to questions about whether the Spaniard would regain his place.

But he was restored to the Reds' starting XI after regaining fitness and Rodgers expects him to occupy the first-choice position for several years to come.

"Pepe Reina is clearly our number one goalkeeper, one of the best goalkeepers in the league," the Northern Irishman added.

"He had a difficult couple of years but for me his best years are ahead of him and his commitment to the cause and what we are trying to achieve is 150 per cent.

"He has taken on board himself to do a lot of work to get in the best possible state he can be in physically and mentally and I am so happy with him.

"He is a great man and has been a wonderful player for me in this short period of time on and off the field. I can see him starting to get back to the level he set here, which was a really high standard, and hopefully that continues."

Reina is expected to start in Liverpool's crucial final Europa League Group A match against already-eliminated Udinese at the Stadio Friuli on Thursday.

Defeat would see them fail to make the last 32 but a positive result - providing they at least match Young Boys' display at home to Anzhi Makhachkala, who have already booked their place in the knockout stage - would see them go through.

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