Arsenal are keen to secure the services of Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet as manager Arsene Wenger looks to bring an experienced number one to the club.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with Spanish duo Victor Valdes and Pepe Reina, but the Express believes that Mignolet has now become the front runner after an excellent season in the Sunderland goal.

Simon Mignolet
Simon Mignolet has impressed for Sunderland despite the club battling against relegation. [Reuters]

Mignolet has excelled in a struggling side and has managed to keep nine clean sheets; some achievement in a team that is just one place above the relegation zone. In fact Sunderland have conceded just 45 goals this season, just five more than fourth placed Tottenham.

Arsenal may have conceded just 34 but they have used three different keepers in the league and none of the trio have managed to make the role their own. Wojciech Szczesny was preferred for most of the season but after a string of errors has been replaced by Lukasz Fabianski.

Vito Mannone has also featured on nine occasions in the Premier League, but there is a growing belief that Wenger will look to sign an established number one who can be put straight in the first team next season.

The Express reports that Arsenal are keen to secure the services of Mignolet who would cost in the region of £5.5million.

The 25-year-old forced his way ahead of Craig Gordon, having been signed from his hometown club of Sint-Truiden in the summer of 2010, and has fought off competition from Kieran Westwood to retain his position between the sticks.

Mignolet has also been capped on 12 occasions by Belgium, though he is currently considered number two by his country, with Chelsea's on-loan stopper Thibaut Courtois the preferred option.

Arsenal would hope that the lure of playing for a side competing for a place in the top four could make them an attractive option as Sunderland face the very real threat of relegation from the Premier League.