Rafael Benitez will return to familiar territory in the summer, if the Napoli coach is forced to move for a new goalkeeper in the transfer window.
The Spaniard signed compatriot Pepe Reina from former club Liverpool ahead of the current season, yet this is just a loan for the duration of the campaign. With Victor Valdes set to leave Barcelona when his contract expires in the summer, it is widely expected that the Anfield man will replace him at the Camp Nou.
Reina grew up through the youth ranks at the Catalonian club, eventually progressing to make 30 league appearances for the first team before leaving for Villarreal in 2002. The 31-year-old has made no secret of his desire to return to Barca, and he will likely get his chance in time for next season.
This will leave Benitez in the market for a new number one, and according to Il Mattino, he will again raid the Premier League for his answer.
It is reported that Tim Krul has already been earmarked as a possible signing. The Holland international is enjoying perhaps his best ever season for Newcastle United, with his performance in the 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur rated by many pundits as the goalkeeping performance of the campaign. The 25-year-old is under contract at St James’ Park until 2017, and would probably cost around £15million.
Another supposed target for the Partenopei is Asmir Begovic. The Bosnia & Herzegovina international, who will keep goal for his country at the World Cup Finals next year, has long been regarded as one of the best shot-stoppers in England and was linked with Manchester City this summer. The 26-year-old is currently tied to Stoke City until 2016, and is rated in the region of £10million.