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Mannone: "Why Would I Leave? I love Sunderland."

Vito Mannone has slammed claims he's asked to leave the club and has no intention of leaving the club any time soon.

Alex Livesey

Mannone, who has just one year left to run on his contract after signing from Arsenal last season, gave a statement to the Sunderland Echo today in which he has said he has no intention of leaving the club.

Vito was linked with a move to Napoli last week and speculation of his departure was rife after we brought in a genuine contender for his place in the team in Romanian international Costel Pantilimon.

Mannone told the Sunderland Echo:

"I don’t know where this false speculation is coming from but I want to let supporters know that there is absolutely nothing in it. I have not asked for a transfer and I have no intention of doing so.

Why would I (leave)? I love Sunderland and the Sunderland fans.

I enjoyed last season and am looking forward to next season, and hope we can reward the fans by winning something. I welcome the arrival of another goalkeeper at the club.

All big clubs need cover in all positions. The manager told me some time ago that he would be bringing someone else in because two keepers were leaving, but he also told me I am his number one and that’s good enough for me."

There it is. I imagine this news will go down well with the fans as Vito proved his worth to the club last season after he was brought into the team to replace Keiren Westwood in November. His part in keeping us in the league and of course in that fantastic run to the cup final should not be discounted and having two goalkeepers at the club that have superb ability can only strengthen our hand.

Let's hope Vito signs a new contract this summer as we look forward to an exciting period for the club.