Costel Pantilimon confident of being first choice at Sunderland

Man City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon in action against Newcastle during their Capital One Cup Fourth Round match on October 30, 2013
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Costel Pantilimon is confident that he can replace Vito Mannone as Sunderland's number one goalkeeper.

New Sunderland signing Costel Pantilimon has backed himself to be the club's number one goalkeeper next season.

The 27-year-old will officially become a Black Cats player in July when his contract with Manchester City expires.

Fellow keeper Vito Mannone earned numerous plaudits between the posts for Sunderland last term, but Pantilimon is confident that he can overhaul the Italian.

"It is very important for me to play every game and now I have found this solution," Pantilimon is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News.

"I want very much to return to the national team. To be first choice is very important to me, which is why I chose a club where I was wanted and where I had a chance to play. Mannone is a good keeper who played well in the previous season, but my goal is to earn a place."

Pantilimon made 29 appearances during his three-year stint at the Etihad Stadium.

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