sport

Pantilimon eyes number one

New Sunderland signing Costel Pantilimon is backing himself to be the first-choice goalkeeper at the Stadium of Light next season.

The 27-year-old, who will complete a free transfer from Manchester City on July 1, has penned a four-year deal with Gus Poyet's side after making just 29 appearances during his three years at the Etihad.

Vito Mannone was the Black Cats' number one for the majority of the previous campaign and his impressive performances led to him being awarded the Sunderland Player of the Year award.

Mannone's future is now the subject of much speculation and Pantilimon insists he has not made the switch just to sit on the bench as he looks to force a way back into the Romania side.

"It is very important for me to play every game and now I have found this solution," he said.

"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."