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Vito Mannone: 'I came close to leaving Sunderland in January'

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone reveals that he considered leaving the club in January.

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone has revealed that he came close to leaving the club in January after dropping down the pecking order.

The 27-year-old struggled to get a game before the turn of the year because Costel Pantilimon was standing in his way.

However, manager Sam Allardyce opted to give Mannone a chance after Pantilimon was sold to Watford in January.

"We had a chat when I was not playing and he said I was the number one," Mannone told The Shields Gazette. "He trusted me.

"I'm happy that happened and I didn't leave the club, because I was probably nearly leaving. Now I'm here, I want to work hard to keep my shirt."

Mannone has now resumed his role at first-choice keeper.

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