Vito Mannone
Vito Mannone has struggled to gain regular action at Arsenal and could now be off to Sunderland. [Reuters]

Sunderland have identified Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone as a possible replacement for Simon Mignolet who is edging closer to joining Liverpool.

The Reds have tabled an £8m bid for the Belgium international and are expected to capture his signature in the coming days as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to add more depth to his squad.

Mignolet impressed in a poor Sunderland side last season as he kept 11 clean sheets in the Premier League. Should he decide to make the move to Liverpool then it would leave Paulo Di Canio short of options with Keiren Westwood the only other senior goalkeeper at the club.

The Daily Mail believe that Di Canio will approach Arsenal to see if they are willing to part with Mannone who is considered third choice at the Emirates behind Wojiech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski.

Mannone, 25, has made just 15 appearances for Arsenal in his seven year spell at the club and it is highly unlikely that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger would stand in the way of the Italian leaving the club.

The former Italy Under-21 international did make 21 appearances for Hull two seasons ago but has never truly managed to establish himself as first choice at a Premier League club.

While the Arsenal keeper could well arrive at the Stadium of Light it seems inevitable that Mignolet will be playing his club football at Anfield next season.

This has led to more speculation over the future of Liverpool's current number one Pepe Reina who has been linked with a possible return to boyhood club Barcelona.

However, the Spanish keeper, who was handed a rare start for Spain in the 10-0 win over Tahiti in the Confederations Cup, has suggested that he is happy to remain at Liverpool and fight for his place.

"In principle my plan is to continue with Liverpool," said Reina. "I have three years left on my contract and I want to fulfil that and even go further."