Stoke City could move for former Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone if Sunderland are relegated, FootballDirectNews.com understands.
The Potters may be in the market for a new signing in goal this summer, with their own star player Asmir Begovic attracting plenty of interest again after nearly leaving the club at the end of last season. Big names such as Manchester United, Napoli and Atletico Madrid have been linked with Begovic, and it is now thought that Stoke are preparing possible replacements for the Bosnisn if he does move on this year.
Mannone is seemingly a priority target for Mark Hughes, with the Italian impressing for the Black Cats this season, despite their poor run of form that has seen them among the favourites to go down at the end of the campaign.
The 26-year-old played a key part in Sunderland’s run to the League Cup final, impressing in a penalty shoot-out win over Manchester United, and looks like being one of several big names the club could lose if they drop to the Championship.
Mannone has also been linked with a return to his native Italy with Napoli and Inter Milan, but Stoke will hope to compete for this somewhat ambitious signing if possible, a club source confirmed. Watch UCL Paris Saint Germain v Chelsea, 2nd March.