Simon Grayson will step up his search for a new goalkeeper after Vito Mannone completed his move to Championship rivals Reading last night.
The Italian has moved for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £2million, to leave Sunderland without a recognised No 1 after Jordan Pickford joined Everton earlier this season.
Highly-rated Under-23 stopper Max Stryjek started in goal against Hartlepool United, but has just celebrated his 21st birthday and has yet to play a senior competitive game, while Portuguese shot-stopper Mika appears to have fallen down the pecking order.
Grayson will be keen to get an experienced shot-stopper into his squad as quick as possible, with just two weeks until the season kicks off against Derby County.
Leeds United veteran Rob Green has been linked with a move to Sunderland, while former Newcastle United star Shay Given – who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Sunderland early in his career – is a free agent after leaving Stoke City.
Meanwhile Reading boss Jaap Stam is delighted to have signed Mannone, who signed a three-year deal after having just a year left on his Sunderland contract.
Stam said: “He has played at the highest level for both Arsenal and Sunderland and he has also played a lot of games in the Championship whilst on loan with Hull.”