The goalkeeper's father Miguel has claimed the Spain international was set to join the Catalans in the summer but the move fell through when Victor Valdes opted to stay
The Spain international, who began his career in Catalunya and made his senior debut for the club in 2000, was heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou during the summer before he moved to the Partenopei from Liverpool on a season-long deal.
Miguel Reina has now revealed his son had agreed terms to return to the Blaugrana earlier this year, but the move was ultimately scuppered when Victor Valdes - who is set to leave the club - opted to stay for another season.
"A few months ago Pepe was in talks with Barcelona. They had an agreement and he was all set to go," he told Minuto 116.
"But in the end Victor Valdes did not leave. That's why the transfer fell through."
Barca have been linked with a host of goalkeepers since Valdes made clear his desire to join a new club, with Borussia Monchengladbach's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Celtic's Fraser Forster and Manchester United shot-stopper David de Gea among those linked with a possible switch to Camp Nou.