Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pepe Blasts Liverpool Targets for Opting for More Money

PEPE REINA has hit out at Gareth Barry and Carlos Tevez for snubbing Liverpool and opting for the riches on offer at Manchester City.

The Spanish keeper was a key part of the Reds side that finished just four points below Manchester United in the club's best Premier League season for years.

But instead of adding to the squad over the summer, Reina has so far seen two transfer targets turn down the chance of a move to Anfield and could also see team-mates like Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano leave Liverpool in search of moves abroad.

Barry looked a certainty to arrive on Merseyside in the close season after missing out on a move from Aston Villa 12 months ago.

But City seized the opportunity to snatch the player by offering him £120,000 a week before Liverpool had a chance to put in place the finance to sign him.

Tevez has been offered £140,000 a week to move to Eastlands after failing to agree a deal to extend his career at Old Trafford.

Liverpool also thought they were in pole position to land the Argentine by offering him Champions League football. Instead, the pair look to have chosen the money available at City. And Reina believes they should have prioritised their prospects of achievement above their wages.

He said: "Apparently, they moved for the money. That is their decision but I also think it is their problem if they cannot see that Liverpool is a bigger club.

"It's up to them what they do but let me tell them that I am very proud to play for Liverpool. We can offer European football and I think that should have been a consideration for them.

"Everybody knows what it is to play for Liverpool. It's a pleasure and a tremendous honour. I am surprised they didn't consider these things. Some things in a player's career should be more important than money."

Liverpool's latest balance sheet shows why they appear unable to offer anywhere near the kind of lucrative wages City are tempting players with at present.

Figures announced last month showed that joint owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks are struggling to service the £350million loan they took out to buy the club.

Kop Holdings, the parent company that owns Liverpool, lost nearly £43m last year and backers RBS have moved to assure fans that their club is safe.

As it stands, manager Rafa Benitez is having to sell players before he can strengthen his side.

Even so, Reina, 26, insists Liverpool will be strong enough come the start of the season.

He said: "At Liverpool, you have to be fighting for the title and that's what we will be doing this year.

"We are involved in four competitions and just targeting one of them is not enough. The big one of the Premier League would definitely be best."

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