Gus Poyet has confirmed Sunderland's desire to add a new goalkeeper to the squad this month, but appeared to stop short of offering Vito Mannone assurances over the safety of his current status as the black Cats' number one.
Mannone, who has been highly impressive since wrestling a first team berth from Keiren Westwood, has been linked with a move to Manchester United, but given the fact an injury to the latter has since reduced Sunderland to a single available senior goalkeeper, it seems unlikely there will be any departures in that department any time soon.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, Poyet confirmed:
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.
Sunderland have been linked with a string of goalkeepers over the last couple of weeks, with Argentinian duo Mariano Andujar and Albano Bizzarri amongst them. Poyet has also stated he 'likes the South American style' of goalkeeping, whatever that means.
As for Mannone, Poyet insists he has no immediate worries that his focus will be compromised by apparent questions over his future:
I think Vito is calm about everything. There are players that you can talk openly to and Vito is one of those.
Not exactly the stoic endorsement of Mannone's position you might have expected. Perhaps Poyet is simply saying the former-Arsenal stopper is aware of the desired imminent pressure on his position and is up for the challenge.
That is certainly the healthiest way of looking at it. Let's go with that. Personally, I'm very much of the belief that if a position isn't broken, then don't try and fix it. However, the urgent need for senior competition and, especially, cover is obvious.