Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon looks to be leaving the club imminently, with media reports today alleging that Watford are in talks to sign him.
It emerged earlier in the day that both French and Spanish clubs are interested in the giant Romanian stopper, with La Liga side Espanyol the side credited with the greatest interest in securing his services.
However, perhaps the most surprising club to now allegedly hold an interest in 28-year-old Pantilimon is rival Premier League side Watford. Some reports are even suggesting the deal is done and could be completed as early as tomorrow.
BREAKING: Sky Sources: @WatfordFC in talks with @SunderlandAFC over deal to sign goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon. #SSNHQ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) January 18, 2016
The former Manchester City goalkeeper signed for the Black Cats on a Bosman free transfer in 2014. It seemed a strange move given Vito Mannone was coming off a successful season, however Pantilimon enjoyed a modicum of success last term, forcing Mannone to sit the majority of games out during the 2014/2015 campaign.
Whilst Pantilimon does have a presence in the box and is comfortable commanding his area, teams had appeared to find a flaw in his game with anything low and close to him rather proving his Achilles heel. As a result he has found himself behind both Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone in the pecking order. Pantilimon is also reportedly on a higher salary than fellow goalkeeper Mannone. Add to that the fact that Jordan Pickford has returned from his loan spell at Preston with great aplomb, Sam Allardyce may have decided the Romanian is the stopper to be sold on.