Premier League

Reina expects Liverpool stay

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Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:08:00

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov believes Wayne Rooney would be a 'great success' if he were to join the London club.

Arsene Wenger has been promised significant funds to strengthen his squad this summer and the Manchester United striker has been linked with a switch since handing in a transfer request at the end of last season.

Usmanov said: "He is a great player. If he comes it would be a big success for Arsenal and for Rooney also."

Usmanov also expressed his support for Wenger, who galvanised a strong finish to the 2012/13 campaign as his team finished fourth, but with some reservations.

"My point of view is that Arsene knows best," the 59-year-old Russian, who holds a 29.9 per cent share in the club, added.

"Of course, we as shareholders do point out some drawbacks in managing the club, in steering its way through.

"But I believe he is a great coach and he has already proven that last season."

Speculation over Reina's future has been circulating for most of the past season and intensified when Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes announced he would not be signing a new contract when his current deal expires next year.

But Valdes, linked with big-spending French side Monaco, has stated he intends to see out his remaining 12 months at the Nou Camp, and that puts any potential move for Reina in doubt.

The 30-year-old has left the door open to an Anfield exit but said he intends to stay.

"My situation is clear. I have a three-year contract with Liverpool, although in football you can never tell," he told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

"I'm very happy and satisfied at Liverpool, I feel valued and respected.

"Logically, if there was a chance to improve and go to a bigger club it would be a good opportunity, although there are few clubs bigger than Liverpool."

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Confidencial Reina added: "In principle my plan is to continue with Liverpool.

"I have three years left on my contract and I want to fulfil that and even go further."

Asked whether he thought his time in the Premier League had come to an end Reina, currently on international duty at the Confederations Cup in Brazil, replied: "I don't think so. Nor do I think that is a possibility.

"The best option for my family is for me to stick with Liverpool."

Liverpool have already begun looking for a replacement for Reina, one of the highest earners on their wage bill, and have identified Sunderland's Belgium international Simon Mignolet as the primary candidate.

Negotiations have taken place with the Black Cats, although a fee has yet to be agreed, but it remains to be seen whether the Reds will sign Mignolet - manager Brendan Rodgers has priorities in other areas - irrespective of whether a deal has been done or not with Barcelona for Reina.

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