Arsenal and Manchester United both linked with signing of one of the stars of the Premier League season so far.
Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with a move to sign Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet by the Sun newspaper.
The Belgium international has delivered brilliant value on the £2 million Steve Bruce – Black Cats boss at the time – paid for him in June 2010, and is now widely considered one of the best in his position in the Premier League.
Indeed, despite Sunderland’s indifferent form this season, they have kept the 6th most clean sheets in the top flight – and much of that is down to Mignolet.
24 year-old Mignolet kept the Gunners at bay in their recent clash at the Stadium of Light with a string of fine saves, and he was only beaten once by a fine strike from Santi Cazorla through a crowd of players.
He is certainly a more authoritative presence in net than the overconfident Wojciech Szczesny for Arsenal, who has a tendency to flap at crosses, parry shots straight back into play and commit individual mistakes that inevitably lead to goals.
Mignolet is already a much more solid custodian, and with a goalkeeper they rely on confidence might spread through the Gunners ranks again.
Manchester United meanwhile have seen a fair amount of mistakes from their number one David De Gea too, but the young Spaniard has equally demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the most promising goalkeepers in the world with some astonishing reflex saves over the course of his Old Trafford career.
Sir Alex Ferguson certainly has faith in him, and points to the progress already made by the 21 year-old in his time in Manchester.
“David was excellent and produced three or four really top saves,” said Ferguson in his press conference after the Red Devils drew 1-1 with Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. “He’s improving all the time.
“I’m pleased for the boy. This is a difficult place to come and we would have taken 1-1 before the game.”
With Manchester United 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League and in a decent position in both the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League, replacing De Gea is unlikely to be high on Ferguson’s list of priorities.