Rodgers confirms Reina loan move
The Italian club, now managed by former Reds boss Rafael Benitez, made an approach for the Spain international last week.
Liverpool can afford to let the 30-year-old move having signed Belgium keeper Simon Mignolet from Sunderland earlier this summer.
Rodgers, speaking at a press conference on the club's pre-season tour of Thailand, 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.
"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 and it was one we felt as a football club was best for him to take.
"As a senior goalkeeper, he needs to be playing. It's a very important year for him with the World Cup next year.
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