Bravo! City eye Reina

Napoli 'keeper Pepe Reina celebrating with fans after the 5-0 thrashing of Torino in their Serie A game in Turin in May. If the Spaniard returns to England he will feel right at home with City.
Napoli 'keeper Pepe Reina celebrating with fans after the 5-0 thrashing of Torino in their Serie A game in Turin in May. If the Spaniard returns to England he will feel right at home with City.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Manchester City want to buy Napoli's Pepe Reina in a transfer which, if successful, would mean the end of Claudio Bravo's torrid time at the English football club.

The Premier League side are understood to have made an initial bid of around £2.5 million (S$3.4 million) for the 34-year-old, who spent nine years at Liverpool, and has also played for Barcelona, Villlarreal and Bayern Munich.

He would offer Pep Guardiola, the City manager, vast experience.

Reina is a close friend of the City manager and Mikel Arteta, one of the coaches, and is understood to be open to the prospect of returning to the Premier League three years after he left Liverpool permanently.

The custodian played under Guardiola during his spell in Germany. If he does arrive, it means Bravo's troubled City career will end after only a season. It will also pose further questions regarding the judgment of Guardiola regarding goalkeepers.

When taking over as manager last summer the Catalan decided Joe Hart, the incumbent No. 1, was not good enough. This led to Bravo's recruitment and Hart going on a season-long loan to Torino.

The Chilean proved a disastrous choice, making a series of errors that directly led to City dropping crucial points. Earlier in the close season, Guardiola acknowledged his mistake by buying Ederson from Benfica for £34.69 million to be his new first choice.

Given that Reina played more than 250 times in the Premier League for Liverpool, helping the club capture the FA Cup in 2006 and come close to winning the Premier League title three years later, Guardiola may allow him a chance to challenge Brazilian Ederson for the starting berth.

It is believed that Napoli will listen to an offer closer to £4.5 million for Reina, who joined the Italian club, initially on loan, in 2013.

City face Manchester United tomorrow in an International Champions Cup match in Houston. Bravo was not with the squad because he is on holiday following Chile's Confederation Cup campaign.

The Manchester derby takes place at the NRG Stadium and will be the first to be staged overseas. City and United were to have faced off in China last summer in a friendly but the poor condition of the pitch at Beijing's National Stadium led to the game's cancellation.

THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2017, with the headline 'Bravo! City eye Reina'. Print Edition | Subscribe