Vito Mannone is not letting transfer speculation surrounding his future distract him at Sunderland

Vito Mannone is not letting transfer speculation surrounding his future distract him ahead of the Championship campaign.

Tuesday, 11th July 2017, 4:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 7:53 am
Vito Mannone.
Vito Mannone.

The 29-year-old goalkeeper is yet to sit down and speak in-depth with Simon Grayson after a busy start to life at Sunderland for the new boss.

Experienced Mannone is the club’s No 1 following Jordan Pickford’s £30million move to Everton.

Pickford, Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini have left following relegation with further departures likely.

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And there was interest in Mannone earlier in the summer from Serie A sides Genoa and Napoli.

Sunderland, though, are yet to receive any bids for the Italian, who is set to start the season in goal.

And Mannone, who only has a year left on his current contract, insists his sole focus is on getting himself fully prepared for the visit of Derby County on Friday, August 4.

“I am actually focusing on what I am doing every day, that is my first aim,” said Mannone, when asked about his future.

“I come in, I work hard during the pre-season and that is my aim from now on, to take it day by day, work hard and try and be ready for the games.

“We will see what is happening.

“To be honest, I haven’t had a proper chat with no one, with the manager.

“So we wait and see, and I just focus on my job which is getting ready for the first game.”

Sunderland, who also have Mika and Under-23 keeper Max Stryjek on the books, could still move to bolster their goalkeeping options after Pickford’s departure and the club had been linked with John Ruddy before he joined Wolves while Rob Green’s position at Leeds United is being monitored.

Mannone has started both friendlies for Sunderland so far, the 3-2 win over Bury and the 2-2 draw with Hibernian, ahead of tonight’s friendly at Livingston (KO 7.45pm).

He says the Sunderland squad have been worked hard so far this pre-season, adding: “It has been good. It was a hard, tough week in Austria.

“We had three sessions a day so it has been tough on the physical side.

“We need to get keep going with the physical side and be ready for the Derby game.”