SUNDERLAND will wait until a hectic summer of transfer dealing is concluded before looking to open contract talks with Vito Mannone.
Goalkeeper Mannone has been the only success story among the permanent signings made by Sunderland at the start of the season, despite initially being earmarked as back-up to Keiren Westwood.
But Mannone is about to enter the final 12 months of his Sunderland contract after only penning a two-year deal when he arrived in a £2million deal from Arsenal.
Regardless of which division Sunderland are in next season, Gus Poyet is keen for Mannone to remain part of his long-term plans, albeit the Italian could be a target for other clubs this summer after such an impressive maiden campaign on Wearside.
Yet there are other priorities on the Sunderland head coach’s agenda before looking to tie down the 26-year-old to a longer stay.
With eight players out of contract at the end of the season, five only on loan deals, plus the club’s top earners all likely to depart if Sunderland are relegated to the Championship, Poyet has his hands full with the rebuilding job needed at the Stadium of Light.
And with so much on the agenda, Poyet envisages waiting until the summer transfer window is concluded before contemplating Mannone’s future.
Poyet told the Echo: “I think Vito knows that we’ve got eight who are out of contract and loan players, so he’ll have to wait until September.
Jack Colback and Phil Bardsley are the only two first-team players that Sunderland have held contract negotiations with since Poyet took charge.
But as the Uruguayan revealed last week, talks with both Bardsley and Colback have broken down completely and the pair are now expected to leave the club when their contracts expire in the summer.
And Poyet says no further negotiations are planned with any of Sunderland’s eight out-of-contract players.
“We had our intentions (with out of contract players) and they didn’t work out,” he added.
“We’ve stopped now and there’s no more talks with anyone.”