Liverpool Star Refusing to Take Departure for Granted

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By Nick Howson | December 6, 2013 3:35 AM EST

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has attempted to cool rumours regarding an imminent move to Barcelona by claiming he cannot take interest from the Catalans for granted.

President Sandro Rosell has expressed his admiration for Reina - currently on loan at Napoli - who is tipped to replace Victor Valdes at Barca after his departure at the end of the season.

Reina's acrimonious exit from Liverpool means he threatens to leave the club under a cloud and in order to soften his eventual departure, the Spanish international says he must earn Barcelona's interest.

"Anyone lucky enough to play for Barca during their career should feel privileged," the 31-year-old told Mundo Deportivo.

"I had the good fortune of being able to play there and spent many happy years there so I would be happy to return but it's difficult to make any assumptions.

"It's nice when a club like Barcelona is following you but I just want to do well with Napoli to bring joy to the people of Naples. I'm super happy here because I have been reunited with feelings I've been missing for a long time."

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said he was forced to replace Reina with Simon Mignolet once he discovered in the summer that the 31 year old was leaning towards a return to the Nou Camp.

Despite his best effort to calm the speculation regarding his move to Barcelona, Reina appears all but certain to trade Merseyside for La Liga, especially given Napoli's intension to promote Rafael Cabral next season.

Reina spent 11 years at Barcelona and made 30 appearances in the first team before moving on to Villarreal and then Liverpool, whom he played for for eight years prior to his falling out with Rodgers.

The Spanish international was a hugely popular figure at Anfield but the end to his career in the Premier League is threatening to turn sour, with his next move seemingly all but secure.

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