By Marco Giordano
Liverpool have told Napoli that they will have to stump up around £4 million if they are to sign goalkeeper Pepe Reina on a permanent deal, Goal understands.
The 31-year-old Spain international is currently on loan with the Serie A side having been deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield following the £9 million summer signing of Simon Mignolet.
After 25 appearances for Napoli, Rafael Benitez is now keen to tie down the former Villarreal goalkeeper on a permanent basis, although he faces competition from La Liga heavyweights Barcelona, who are searching for a replacement for the departing Victor Valdes.
Barca vice-president Josep Bartomeu confirmed back in November 2013 that Reina was, along with promising Borussia Monchengladbach No.1 Marc-Andre ter Stegen, on the shortlist of candidates to step in at Camp Nou when Valdes's contract expires in the summer.
And Reina's father, Miguel, went as far as saying that the 31-year-old, who spent over 10 years with the Catalan giants as a youth team player, would be "more than delighted" to return to the club in the future.
Liverpool are under no pressure to sell Reina, with the Spaniard contracted until 2016, although Goal understands the Reds are willing to listen to offers around £4m for a player that is not seen as having a long-term future at Anfield.
Should Napoli fail to tempt Reina to extend his stay in Italy, Benitez's side could move for Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone as an alternative target.
The 25-year-old has been earning rave reviews for his performances for the Black Cats this season, with Napoli having previously been interested in signing him during his Arsenal days.