English Championship side Aton Villa are reportedly keen on signing Vito Mannone from Sunderland, according to Sunderland Echo.
The report claims that Villa want to make the move when the transfer window reopens in January.
Mannone has lost his starting spot in the current set-up to Jordan Pickford in recent times. Reports in Italy say the shot stopper would exit the Stadium of Light when he gets a good offer.
Villa manager Steve Bruce seems like one who would want to add Mannone now, after he unsuccessfully tried to lure him to Hull City in 2012. Villa seems to have picked up after their poor start under former coach Roberto Di Matteo.
Mannone lost his spot to Pickford after his elbow injury early in the season. Pickford’s form seems to have cemented his spot in the team, forcing the Italian to look elsewhere for opportunities.
“In your career you always get tough times, there are ups and downs. The first challenge for me was coming back from my injury which was quite big. If you have a clear mind, I think you can always believe you can overcome the difficulties. And Jordan has done well. It’s not been down to me or my mistakes,” Mannone said.
The 28-year old player said he looked up to former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann as his model particularly due to the keeper’s mental strength.
“I believe football is like a Jungle with a fight around every corner – and you just need to be ready for that. You’re walking with your elbows up high because you need to make space for yourself,” Mannoone added when he spoke at a special press conference with Sunderland University journalism students.
Mannone might be the replacement for Villa’s Pierluigi Gollini – the club’s summer signing.