Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina has completed his season-long loan move from Liverpool to Napoli but said he had also wanted to extend his Liverpool contract.
He would link up with former Reds boss Rafael Benitez at the Rome club after the Kops signed Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
In a letter thanking Liverpool fans, the Spain’s number three says he was “disappointed” that Liverpool agreed to loan him to Napoli without informing him first.
He insisted he wanted to extend his eight-year stay on Merseyside if a move to Barcelona failed to materialise.
“For the past eight years, that is all I have known,” he said. “The club, the staff, the city, the people and the supporters have played a massive part in my life.
“Liverpool is special in a way that only those who are lucky enough to experience the club close up can understand.”
However, Reina admits he is upset at the manner of his departure from Anfield- claiming Liverpool agreed to send him to Napoli without any consultation.
“If I have one regret; it is the way I am leaving,” the 30-year-old said.
“It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first; I thought that I deserved better than that even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football.”
Manager Brendan Rodgers told the Anfield Wrap podcast he was made to believe Barcelona will move for Reina this summer with the rumours of an imminent Nou Camp exit by Victor Valdes rife at the end of last season.
But when Valdes announced that he would see out the final one year of his contract, it all vanished.
“I told the manager that I wanted to play for Liverpool and that Barcelona would only become an option for me if the opportunity arrived, like the rumours said it would, as it would be a chance for me to go back home,” Reina added on his official website.
“When it didn’t come I was happy to fight for my place so I was surprised that Liverpool decided it was in the club’s interests to send me to Napoli instead.”
Reina’s current deal with the Anfield club runs until next year. He joined from Villareal for £6m in 2005.