SIMON MIGNOLET is unlikely to pen a new contract at Sunderland, according to the goalkeeper’s agent.
Sunderland have been in talks since March over extending Mignolet’s deal at the Stadium of Light, in a bid to tie down the club’s prize asset, who still has another two years left to run on his Black Cats contract.
But those discussions have now stalled and Sunderland are potentially facing a huge dilemma after Mignolet’s representative, ex-Birmingham City keeper Nico Vaesen, said that he doesn’t expect the Belgian to extend his stay at the club beyond 2015.
Mignolet has always professed his happiness at Sunderland and will make no attempt to orchestrate a move away from the Black Cats, while boss Paolo Di Canio has publicly stressed his determination for the keeper to remain in red and white.
The 24-year-old was also quick to rubbish talk in February that he was looking to join a bigger club to boost his international chances after comments from ex-Belgium international Guy Vandersmissen, who represents the stopper.
But Vaesen also acts as an intermediary for Mignolet and his comments will only fuel speculation surrounding the ex-St Truiden man’s future, with Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Napoli all circling.
When asked on the status of the contract talks, Vaesen told the Echo: “There is no progress.
“I think it is very unlikely that he will sign a new contract.
“Simon has obviously come to a point where he wants to step up a level and there is a lot of interest in him.
“He is very ambitious and wants to play in the World Cup, in Brazil, next year.
“It was a good thing that Sunderland stayed up and it is a fantastic club where he has had three great years.
“But it is maybe time to step up a level and play for a club competing for a European spot.”
Sunderland remain in a strong position regarding Mignolet and will still hope to keep last season’s outstanding performer on Wearside.
But without a new contract on the table, it increases the likelihood of Sunderland being forced to cash in on Mignolet either this summer or in 12 months time.
The Black Cats would be able to command a huge fee – certainly far in excess of the meagre £6.5million figure mooted over the weekend – for Mignolet and have a ready-made replacement on their books in Keiren Westwood.
Neither is their any move from Mignolet’s camp to fast-track a switch to a club able to boast European football.
Vaesen added: “All teams that are interested in Simon, we direct them to Sunderland.
“He still has a two-year contract there and any interested clubs have to agree a price with Sunderland first.
“That is the way we conduct our business.”