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Napoli hopeful of keeping Pepe Reina amid Newcastle interest - sources

Pepe Reina has played under Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez at Liverpool and Napoli.

Napoli are confident of keeping goalkeeper Pepe Reina, sources have told ESPN FC, with Newcastle United keen on a move.

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is a huge fan of Reina, having signed him twice while in charge of both Liverpool and Napoli.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Benitez wants another reunion with the Spain international and has sounded out his representatives about a return to the Premier League, while the 57-year-old spoke this week of his admiration for his former player.

However, separate sources have also told ESPN FC that despite reports of a bust-up with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, Reina is happy with life in Naples and has no plans to leave unless the club want to sell him this summer.

Reina is entering the final year of his contract at Napoli, but the club are determined to keep hold of him, with the 34-year-old establishing himself as Maurizio Sarri's first-choice keeper.

Benitez is looking to bring in a new No. 1 to Newcastle this summer as he prepares his side for life back in the Premier League and Reina is his top target.

Goalkeepers Matz Sels and Tim Krul are both expected to leave St James' Park this summer, and Benitez wants to bring in an experienced keeper rather than have Karl Darlow as his first choice next season.

Peter O'Rourke is ESPN FC's transfer news correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @SportsPeteO.

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