Brendan Rodgers insists the possible signing of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland does not signal the end of Pepe Reina’s Liverpool career.
Liverpool boss Rodgers has spoken of his admiration for 24-year-old Mignolet amid reports that the two clubs have agreed a fee for the highly-rated goalkeeper.
Reina’s future has been the subject of much debate in recent weeks after being linked with a return to Barcelona, but Rodgers is adamant the Spain international, who is currently away at the FIFA Confederations Cup, is still part of his plans for next season.
Rodgers told talkSPORT: “One of the things we’re trying to build is a competitive squad.
“Our squad was very thin last year and it was great we were able to introduce a few young players from our academy but it’s very important that we have competition in every position and that wasn’t always the case.
“Pepe Reina and I went out for a meal a couple of months before the end of the season and I told him exactly what we were going to do, which was to provide real competition in that area.
“He was fully aware of my intention over the course of the last few months. It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to Pepe.
“Pepe is a fantastic goalkeeper but Simon Mignolet is a player that has done really well. He’s also part of an emerging Belgium squad that has come into a golden era. He’s very much a part of that.
“When you work with Pepe, he’s a great man. A very committed man to the club and he’s an outstanding goalkeeper.”
Reina has played more than 300 times for Liverpool in all competitions after joining from Villarreal in 2005.
The 30-year-old has welcomed the competition that Mignolet would provide should he move to Anfield.
He said: “Every team needs competition and when it’s positive, it’s very welcome. I’m going to welcome him – anything he needs I’m here.”
“It doesn’t change a bit. I said it many times, I’m very comfortable and happy with Liverpool.”