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Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson warns Man Utd off Pepe Reina

Pepe Reina
Reina joined Liverpool from Villarreal for 6m in July 2005

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has warned Manchester United that goalkeeper Pepe Reina is not for sale.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been linked with the 28-year-old Spaniard, while Arsenal have been mentioned as potential suitors in the past.

"If Ferguson is looking around and has lots of money, he might want Pepe Reina because he is the best around," Hodgson told the Liverpool Echo.

"But we do not want to sell him. He is a lifeblood of this team."

Reina joined Liverpool from Villarreal for £6m in July 2005 and has made 271 appearances in his five seasons at Anfield.

He signed a new six-year contract in April but after the cash-strapped Reds failed to qualify for the Champions League and Rafael Benitez was sacked as manager, the keeper was linked with a £23m move to Arsenal.


Reina did not leave but in the wake of Liverpool's poor start to the season and the ownership saga that ended with a takeover by New England Sports Ventures, the rumours have persisted.

The latest report links Reina with a move to Old Trafford, where he would succeed 39-year-old Edwin van der Sar.

But Hodgson insisted the club had no intention of parting with the player and added: "We have heard nothing from Manchester United and, more to the point, we don't want to hear anything from Manchester United.

"It was just one of those stories that seems to occur - it's just disappointing and annoying. Pepe is fantastic here.

"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."

Meanwhile, forward Dirk Kuyt is making encouraging progress in his recovery from an ankle problem and could be fit to face Chelsea on 7 November.

The Dutchman was expected to be sidelined for a month after sustaining the injury on international duty on 12 October.

"He shouldn't be as far advanced as he is with his ankle but he's looking good," said Hodgson. "I don't think he'll be fit for the weekend but maybe the weekend after."

Full-back Glen Johnson has an outside chance of returning for Sunday's trip to Bolton after missing three of the last four games with a thigh injury.

Ryan Babel took a blow to the ribs in a reserve match this week but his injury is not as serious as first feared.

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see also
Hodgson insists he will not quit
21 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Man Utd may hunt Torres - Hodgson
20 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool owner to spend 'wisely'
18 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Hodgson backed by new owners NESV
17 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
NESV completes Liverpool takeover
15 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Hodgson backs Reina after blunder
15 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Reina pens new Liverpool contract
09 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Reina pens new Liverpool contract
07 Jun 07 |  Liverpool
Reina keen to make Anfield impact
12 Jul 05 |  Liverpool

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Nigeria Guardian Reina not for sale, Hodgson tells Ferguson - 5 hrs ago
The Sun Roy Hodgson: You need to be loyal to Liverpool - 8 hrs ago
Daily Star Rafael Van der Vaart sets his sights on beating Edwin van der Sar - 9 hrs ago
New Sabah Times Hodgson: Dear Sir forget about Reina! - 11 hrs ago Henry reassures Liverpool fans - 17 hrs ago