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Mannone on Napoli wanted list

Napoli have identified Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone as a possible long-term replacement for veteran Morgan De Sanctis.

The Serie A club are believed to be willing to pay around four million pounds for his services next summer.

The Italian has been propelled into the Gunners’ first-team this season following injuries to both Woijech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski, and was praised for his displays against Manchester City and Liverpool in recent weeks.

And, after first-choice target Mattia Perin opted to join Pescara on loan from parent club Genoa, Napoli have now pin-pointed Mannone as a potential arrival.

Mannone’s current contract expires in 2014, and confirmed on Saturday that no talk of an extension has currently been broached.

“Neither myself nor anyone from my family or friends have spoken about any deal,” he said.

“At the moment I am really happy and just focusing on training and playing well. I am trying to be the No.1 for this club and win trophies. That is my only concern and I would like to make that clear.”

Inter are also thought to be showing an interest in the 24-year-old, who Wenger recently confirmed had been available to buy in the summer – though no club submitted a concrete bid.

“When I sent Mannone to Hull, I watched him in every single game and all the reports I had were very positive. I was quite surprised no club went for him because I would have let him go,” the Arsenal boss told reporters.

Tue 9 October, 2012
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