Mannone dismisses departure speculation

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone has denied that he has handed in a transfer request following Costel Pantilimon's arrival.

Mannone helped Sunderland achieve Premier League safety last term and won the club's player of the season award, but speculation mounted that he was looking for a new challenge following the signing of former Manchester City keeper Pantilimon.

However, the Italian moved to dismiss those rumours on Wednesday and underlined his desire to remain at the Stadium of Light.

"I don't know where this false speculation is coming from but I want to let supporters know that there is absolutely nothing in it," the 26-year-old said in a statement released to several media outlets.

"I have not asked for a transfer and I have no intention of doing so."

Pantilimon, who played against Sunderland in City's League Cup final triumph in March, signed a four-year deal with Gus Poyet's side earlier this month.

Sunderland have also completed deals for Billy Jones and Jordi Gomez in the close-season so far.