Vito Mannone has stressed his happiness with life at Sunderland after penning a new two-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland yesterday confirmed that Mannone had agreed fresh terms with the Black Cats after the two parties swiftly reached an agreement, following the opening of contract talks last month.
Although Mannone faces big competition for his starting spot from England Under-21 keeper Jordan Pickford this season, the Italian has reinvigorated his Sunderland career after it looked as if he would leave the club in January.
After being handed a second chance by Sam Allardyce at the turn of the year, the 28-year-old was a key component in Sunderland's survival and is delighted to extend his stint with the Black Cats.
Mannone said: "I'm really pleased. What a way to start the season.
"It's a massive boost for me and my family. We love it here. I love the club and the fans, so it's a great deal for me.
"I've had to fight hard in the past, had up and downs, so it's a great achievement for me to sign this contract.
"Hopefully we can have a great season ahead of us.
"I've been here three years now and I've really enjoyed playing my football here."
Mannone and his Sunderland team-mates returned to the Academy of Light yesterday for the start of pre-season, with Allardyce taking his squad to Austria on Thursday for a training camp.
And the ex-Arsenal man admits he was glad to return to work, with a buzz still in the air from last season's escape from the drop.
"During your holidays, you obviously enjoy your family time, but it's always in the back of your mind of missing football," he added to the club website.
"You miss the games, especially when you've done well towards the end of the season.
"I'm glad to be back and I can't wait to get going."