Vito Mannone issues emotional message to Sunderland fans after completing £2million Reading move

Vito Mannone.
Vito Mannone.
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Vito Mannone has issued an emotional message to Sunderland supporters after his four-year spell on Wearside came to an end.

The 29-year-old goalkeeper has joined Championship rivals Reading on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £2million.

Mannone joined Sunderland from Arsenal in the summer of 2013 and spent four years on Wearside.

During that time, he made a total of 80 appearances, including playing in the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City in 2014 and playing a key role in several great escapes before the club was relegated to the Championship last season.

Mannone has thanked fans for their support during his "incredible journey" at Sunderland in a lengthy message, which reflects on his highs and lows during his time on Wearside.

In an emotional message on Instagram, Mannone wrote: "I want to start from that special night. The roar coming from the stands when I saved that penalty still give me goosebumps - the chant "Oh Vito Mannone" will never leave my head and heart.

"You fans just gave me the night that as a kid I always dreamed for, on top of that the final at Wembley, the great escapes against all odds beating massive clubs, the many derby wins, the chance to have met that little special angel Bradley Lowery and the amazing bond with you fans that no matter what you always been there for me and supported me.

"I will always be grateful of that, it has been an incredible journey, full of highs and lows, full of people who supported me and people that wanted to get rid of me at all costs but I fought through and that made me just stronger and made me a man.

"I have learned so much in the past four years and lived some of the best moments with my wife and my family up in the North East so these memories will be with me forever.

"Remember Sunderland fans despite last year and the low that you are living now, you have to look forward. You are the real force of the club and only with your help Sunderland will bounce back where it belongs.

"I want to thank all the people and friends I have met along the way from the team mates, coaching staff, medical and fitness departments, cleaners, kitchen staff, media guys, kit men, you guys at the offices and everyone that work or worked at the club.

"You made me feel at home and I felt you were part of my family. You fans will always be in my heart as you made me give 100 per cent anytime I was wearing a Sunderland shirt and ultimately enjoy the game I love the most.

"Now I am sad I close one chapter at Sunderland but so exited to open a new one with my family at Reading with the hope to fulfil even more dreams and live many more special moments in my new adventure.

"I will give my all as usual. Good luck to the boys and to all the people related to Sunderland #hawaythelads see you soon."