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Sunderland sign Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone

Updated: Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 15:36 | Comments

Vito Mannone has joined Sunderland
Vito Mannone has joined Sunderland

Sunderland have confirmed the arrival of Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

The 25-year-old Italian has moved to the Stadium of Light for an undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of £2million, and has signed a two-year contract.

He is expected to provide the back-up to Republic of Ireland international Keiren Westwood following Simon Mignolet's #9million switch to Liverpool.

Mannone follows Valentin Roberge, Modibo Diakite, Cabral, David Moberg Karlsson and Duncan Watmore into the club with the Black Cats' summer recruitment drive showing little sign of abating.

He arrived at Arsenal as a 17-year-old from Italian side Atalanta and made 26 senior appearances for the club, including four in the Champions League last season.

A former Italy Under-21 international, Mannone has also had loan spells at Barnsley and Hull.

New manager Paolo Di Canio is making a concerted effort to substantially rebuild the squad he inherited from Martin O'Neill this summer and there will be further new arrivals before the season gets under way.

Le Havre full-back Benjamin Mendy is expected to complete his move to Wearside later this week with club-mate El-Hadji Ba and Velez Sarsfield defender Gino Peruzzi also closing in on moves.

Di Canio has now turned his attention to the striking department, although there is still a significant amount of work to be done.

Sunderland have seen their initial bid for AZ Alkmaar frontman Jozy Altidore rejected, and they have been left in little doubt that they will have to come up with a significantly bigger offer if they are to succeed.

But having formally registered their interest, the Wearsiders are regarding the rejection as the first salvo in the battle to land a player identified some time ago as the man to freshen up their attacking options.

Altidore, who made 28 Barclays Premier League appearances on loan at Hull from Villarreal during the 2009-10 season, scored 23 goals for AZ last season to attract the attention of a series of potential suitors.

However, Sunderland have struck the initial blow and will hope to follow it up after their lack of depth in attack was exposed at the end of last season.

Steven Fletcher's ankle surgery, which ruled him out of the final eight games, emphasised the club's relative paucity up front.

O'Neill invested £5million in Swansea's Danny Graham in an effort to address the problem, but he failed to score a single goal in his 13 appearances at the end of the campaign.

Stephane Sessegnon's future on Wearside remains uncertain amid speculation the club could cash in on him this summer, while Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-won are yet to prove they can do the job on a sustained basis.

Meanwhile, reports in Greece have claimed Sunderland have reached agreement with Panathinaikos for the transfer of midfielder Charalampos Mavrias in a deal which could eventually amount to four million Euros.

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