Now at AC Milan, the shot-stopper gave his thoughts on both his former coach and ex-club Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final
Reports that Maurizio Sarri is closing on a move to Juventus have met with the approval of Jose Reina – although the goalkeeper admitted that the news was unlikely to go down well in Napoli.
Sarri lifted his first trophy as Chelsea manager on Wednesday with a dominant 4-1 defeat of Arsenal in the Europa League final, capping a decent maiden season that also saw the Blues return to the Premier League top four.
But the Italian has met resistance from sections of the Stamford Bridge support, and his name has been linked more than once to the vacancy left at Juve by Massimiliano Allegri’s decision to stand down.
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Goal understands that he has reached an agreement with the Old Lady and has already requested early release from his Chelsea contract.
Reina knows Sarri better than most, having played under the coach for several seasons at Napoli; and he believes that the appointment would be a shrewd one on the Turin club’s part.
“It would have been frankly difficult to see that happening two years ago, but we’ll see,” the former Liverpool goalkeeper explained to Sky Sport.
“Napoli fans certainly won’t want it to happen, but Juve know how good Sarri is and it is their decision. Sarri is a real football man, he lives and breathes football 24 hours a day.
“He might not have won trophies with us at Napoli, but I am still very proud of what we did together.”
Now 36, Reina spent the 2018-19 season deputising for Gianluigi Donnarumma as AC Milan narrowly missed out on a place in the Champions League on the last day of the season.
He retains a soft spot for both Napoli and Liverpool, however, expressing his hopes that the latter triumph in Saturday’s final against Tottenham.
“Liverpool are used to being in Finals and proved they deserve to be there again,” he added.
“I hope they can win in a great game of football. Jurgen Klopp is really stubborn, he never gives in and neither do his teams.
“Tottenham are versatile, often changing system, whereas Liverpool won’t change their philosophy. The aim will be to take the initiative and not be passive.”