Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has issued Manchester United with a firm ‘hands off’ warning regarding goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
There had been rumours earlier this week that Reina is unhappy at Liverpool and that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is lining up the Spaniard as a replacement for Dutch veteran Edwin Van der Sar.
Reina has been a favourite at Anfield since Rafa Benitez signed him from Villarreal in 2005, instantly establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s top keepers. Now Hodgson has made it clear that he has every intention of keeping the 28-year-old at Liverpool.
The Reds’ boss commented, “It was just one of those stories that seems to occur — it’s just disappointing and annoying.
“Pepe is fantastic here, he is a lifeblood of this team. Everything he does around the club is excellent.
“He is always lively in the dressing room, he is always first class in training and he always wants to do more to improve.
“He demands better from those around him, he is always pushing people on. He is a player who we hold in the highest esteem.
“We have heard nothing from Manchester United and, more to the point, we don’t want to hear anything from Manchester United .
“If Alex Ferguson is looking around at the end of the season and he has got lots of money to replace Edwin van der Sar, he might very well want Pepe Reina because he is the best around.
“But we do not want to sell him. I would like to think that we are going to become a successful club once again and Pepe is crucial to that.”