Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Pepe Reina's flirtation with Barcelona earlier this year ultimately cost him his status as Anfield No 1.

The Spanish keeper who has joined Napoli on a season-long loan had been expected to return to the Camp Nou.

Reina's agent had told Liverpool to expect a bid which would prompt his departure but Victor Valdes' U-turn over his future meant Barca never followed up their initial interest.

By then Rodgers had already secured the services of £9million Simon Mignolet from Sunderland meaning the writing was on the wall for Reina.

'In terms of us as a football club it was obviously a difficult decision but it's one from last season' he said.

'As manager I was led to believe we were going to get an offer for Pepe Reina that would probably see him leave the club.

'Obviously on the football side we had to ensure we protected the team. At that stage we started our search for another goalkeeper and we found Simon Mignolet who is top class and one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.