|SUNDERLAND KEEPER COULD BE SET FOR LIVERPOOL AFTER CONTRACT TALKS STALL
Ladbrokes: 5 March 2013
Reproduced with permission from Ladbrokes.com
Sunderland's number one, Simon Mignolet, could be set for a summer move away from the club as talks over a contract extension appear to have stalled.
The Belgian international has enjoyed a hugely impressive season, establishing himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League.
These performances have attracted the attention of a host of top clubs, with Liverpool believed to hold a keen interest in his services.
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A source close to Mignolet – who may or may not have been his agent, according to manager, Martin O'Neill – this week stated that the stopper would be looking for a move away from Wearside this summer. The source cited the keeper's desire to secure the number one spot on the international scene, where he currently plays second fiddle to Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois.
The keeper himself moved to quash any rumours of unrest, but his manager this week revealed that he's still waiting for keeper to pen a new deal at the Stadium of Light, despite lengthy talks between the two parties taking place for an extended period.
The 24-year-old has two years left to run on his current contract, but should he refuse to commit longer-term, the Black Cats may have to relinquish their prize asset, should a suitable offer come in and, with Pepe Reina's form on the decline, it could be Liverpool who lodge that bid.
Brendan Rodgers has been linked with moves for a new goalkeeper since his arrival at Anfield, having courted Jack Butland most notably. A bid of around £10m could be enough to secure Mignolet's services and his acquisition could prove vital in the Reds' bid to return to Champions League contention next term.
Mignolet has kept nine clean sheets thus far this term and is a key reason why the Black Cats find themselves clear of the relegation zone, though his efforts alone don't look likely to be enough to ensure the club finish above fiercest rivals Newcastle. They're 11/8 to finish as the top north east club this season.
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