Last Updated: Fri, 26 Jul 2013 10:20
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has explained he signed Simon Mignolet because he thought Pepe Reina would join Barcelona this summer.
Reina was heavily linked with a return to his old club earlier in the close season as they were looking for a replacement for Victor Valdes.
However, Valdes opted to stay at the Nou Camp for another year and that put their move for Reina on hold.
Liverpool had been on the look-out for a new keeper amid uncertainty over Reina and pressed ahead with a deal for Mignolet from Sunderland even when it emerged Barca were unlikely to make an move for the Spaniard this year.
Now Reina has been allowed to join Napoli on loan because he would have been on the bench at Anfield following Mignolet's arrival and Rodgers says he had to ensure he had top-quality cover in place.
He said: "It was obviously a difficult decision. From last season, really, as a manager I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe that would probably see him leave the club.
"On the football side, we have to protect the team, and at that stage we started our search for another goalkeeper. That found us Simon Mignolet, who's top class - one of the top, young European goalkeepers."
He added: "As events transpired, that move (for Reina) didn't happen and it left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the number one position.
"Then obviously an opportunity arose for Pepe (to join Napoli) and it was one we felt as a football club was best for him to take."
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