Sam Allardyce hints Sunderland duo Mannone and Pantilimon are up for sale

Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon and Vito Mannone are out of the first-team picture.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce suggests that his side will consider bids for Costel Pantilimon and Vito Mannone following Jordan Pickford’s return from a loan spell, the Daily Mail reports.

The Black Cats are intent on strengthening their squad this month, yet in order to bring in the right sort of quality they may have to sell players to generate some extra funds.

With Jordan Pickford returning from an impressive loan spell at Preston North End, it provides the club with an opportunity to get rid of at least one of their remaining shot-stoppers surplus to requirements.

When quizzed on the matter, Allardyce told reports that Pickford will now be staying at the club and suggested any offer for his fellow goalkeepers will be considered by all parties involved.

“What does it [Pickford’s return] say to Costel and Vito? More pressure, perform better. Somebody else is knocking on their door now. I don’t what will happen, but I know Pickford won’t be going anywhere, that’s for sure,” Allardyce explained, quoted in the Daily Mail.

“If there was to be an offer from somebody else, for either Costel or Vito, I’d probably call them in and say, “What do you want to do? Does it suit you and does it suit us?” If that happens, we’ll talk about it, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

Pickford’s impressive form at Preston has led to many observers comparing him with Stoke City’s Jack Butland – a player who also enjoyed loan spells in the Championship.

Having both Mannone and Pantilimon as backups makes little sense, yet selling either one could prove quite difficult due to their inconsistent performances in recent months.

According to a December report in Tuttomercatoweb, Italian side Hellas Verona were accredited with an interest in Mannone but the situation appears to have cooled over the past two weeks.

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