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Costel Pantilimon Signs For Sunderland

Chris Brunskill

It's official. After reports in The Times over the past few days Sunderland have confirmed the signing of former City 'keeper Costel Pantilimon on a four-year contract.

There was no confirmation as to whether City and/or Pantilimon were ever serious in trying to extend his tenure at the club but it is unlikely a four-year deal would have been offer, nor would four further years been attractive for him, unless he had resigned his fate to that of the permanent back up.

As I wrote in the season review, this was the season that probably confirmed to both the club and Pantilimon himself that he would never be a serious challenger to Joe Hart. Adequate as a stand-in when required on a short term basis but lacking the quality to ever be a true number one for the club.

Sunderland is an interesting destination though. Vito Mannone performed well - howler at The Etihad aside - for them last season but at the very least Pantilimon heads there with the opportunity to go into pre-season with an equal shot of the starting job from Mannone.

As for City, Richard Wright has already been re-signed but it would be a huge surprise if they didn't further enter the market. The question though will be whether this is a like for like for Pantilimon or a more direct challenger to Hart.