Gus Poyet claims that Former Arsenal FC custodian Vito Mannone is ‘calm’ about Manchester United rumours.

Vito_Mannone(c)lampost(dot)coVito Mannone has produced some good performance for Sunderland since his move to the club from Arsenal in the summer. The Italian goalkeeper has been a regular in the starting line-up since December following Kieran Westwood’s injury. Westwood has now being ruled out for the rest of the season which means 19-year-old Jordan Pickford is the only back-up for Mannone in the first team squad. Although Sunderland have struggled in the league this season, the former Arsenal goalkeeper has kept 5 clean-sheets in his 12 appearances and has made 44 saves during that period.

Recent reports in Italy suggested that Manchester United are lining up a move for Mannone as David Moyes looks for a back-up for David De Gea. Anders Lindegaard, who is the current second choice goalkeeper, is likely to leave Old Trafford and Moyes is believed to be eyeing a move for the former Arsenal goalkeeper.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has refused to dismiss these rumours though, instead he insisted that Mannone has remained calm about these reports.

“I think Vito is calm about everything.

“It was a very different situation for me with Vito and Westy (to give Mannone his first Premier League start), probably one of the hardest decisions I made before Manchester City.

“Unfortunately, Westy has had an operation now and is out for another three months. But I’m calm over Vito. There are players that you can talk openly to and Vito is one of those.” – The Sunderland manager said.

Sunderland have been linked with a move for goalkeeper in this window as well, as they look to bring in a replacement for injured Kieran Westwood. David Forde, Mariano Andujar and Albano Bizzarri are some of the names which has been linked with a move to the Stadium of light and Poyet has accepted that they will need to strengthen at this position.

“It’s a position that we are looking at.

“We’re working on a few positions and I can say openly that we’re looking at goalkeepers, although that doesn’t mean someone will come.

“I don’t want to say I’m going to bring in this, this and this, because then you don’t have the quality. But if there’s a player who I know can come in and help us quickly, then I will do.” – Poyet added.

Despite United’s interest, it seems unlikely that Mannone would consider a move to Old Trafford to be a back-up keeper for De Gea – a situation which forced him to leave Arsenal. Regular first team action at Sunderland should remain his priority at this point in this career.