Sunderland: Costel Pantilimon happy with Vito Mannone rivalry

Costel Pantilimon
Pantilimon won the Capital One Cup final with Manchester City last season, coincidentally against Sunderland

New signing Costel Pantilimon is ready to challenge Vito Mannone and become Sunderland's regular goalkeeper.

Pantilimon, 27, joined the Black Cats on a free transfer in the summer, but will have to displace Mannone, 26, the club's player of the year in 2013-14.

"Everyone wants to be in the first XI, but Vito is a good guy and a good keeper," the ex-Manchester City goalkeeper told BBC Newcastle.

"It's important we all work together to help the team."

Pantilimon versus Mannone
6ft 8inHeight6ft 2ins
Romania senior (18 caps)International honoursItaly Under-21 (eight caps)
7Premier League appearances 2013-1429
3Premier League clean sheets 2013-1411
18Premier League saves 2013-14137

Romania international Pantilimon served as understudy to Joe Hart during his time at the Etihad Stadium and was limited to 29 appearances throughout three years, before he was released at the end of last season.

His outings in the Capital One Cup brought him a winners medal, coincidentally against Sunderland at Wembley, but his place in the Romania squad has been threatened.

Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu has become the first choice at international level, prompting Pantilimon to seek a more secure club place.

"I found out the manager wanted me here which was great news," he added.

"I want to be number one in the national team, I'm young and I need to play.

"It's a good opportunity to come here. I had a good talk with the manager, I know his ideas and ambitions and I hope we can do good things together."

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