Serie A interest in Sunderland keeper as Black Cats start search for Pickford replacement

Mannone could leave Sunderland this summer
Mannone could leave Sunderland this summer
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Serie A outfit Atalanta are interested in signing Vito Mannone.

Having finished fourth in the Italian top tier last season, they are preparing for a Europa League campaign.

They will need to replace Albanian goalkeeper Etrit Berisha, who excelled last season on loan from Lazio. Mannone started his career as a youngster at Atalanta before moving to Arsenal in 2005 at the age of 17.

Mannone, who lost his place to Jordan Pickford last season, could leave the club this summer, with agent and former Sunderland Director of Football Roberto de Fanti confirming that there had been interest in the goalkeeper and fellow team-mate Fabio Borini following the January transfer window.

De Fanti said: "Vito and Fabio are happy playing in the Premier League.

"We often forget that Vito and Fabio have played their entire career in the Premier League, except for one year with Fabio at Roma.

"Italy, however, always remains home and after a while more and more you want to go back. There was something with some top Italian clubs but the conditions were not right. We will see this summer."

Should Mannone depart Sunderland would be left without a senior goalkeeper in the squad, with Jordan Pickford undergoing a medical in Poland ahead of his £30 million switch to Everton. Pickford is currently with the England side ahead of the U21 European Championships. Mika Domingues remains at the club but is yet to make a senior appearance.

Strengthening that department will have to be a key priority for the new Sunderland manager, with Manchester United's Sam Johnstone and Ipswich's Bartosz Bialkowski already linked with a switch to Wearside.

The Black Cats would face strong competition for Johnstone, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Aston Villa.

Steve Bruce is interested in making that move permanent, as are a number of Premier League clubs.