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Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone linked with return to Italy

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Arsenal fans should brace themselves for the departure of more than just a few players. With a complete revamp of the squad on manager Arsene Wenger’s mind, it seems the Frenchman would not be willing to impart even second thoughts to people who aren’t required to be present in the team. The Daily Star carries a story which reports that Arsenal's Italian shotstopper, Vito Mannone could be headed back to his homeland this summer.

It is being reported that Serie A sides Parma and Genoa might be interested in acquiring the services of the €1m rated goalkeeper and Wenger would not let go of a chance to offload the surplus to requirements man, to lessen the pressure on his wage budget.

 

Mannone, 25, has never been a first choice keeper for the Gunners and has been called up occasionally to fill in for Wojciech Szczesny or Lukasz Fabianski in times of need. A product of Atalanta’s youth academy, he signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2005 for a fee of £350,000. However he had to wait till the 2008-09 for his first competitive match for the Gunners. Mannone has thrice been sent on loan to English sides Barnsley (2006) and Hull City (2010-11, 2012). He is yet to make his debut for the Italian senior team.

In his eight years’ stay at Arsenal, Mannone has managed a mere 23 appearances. Wenger has been keen to offload him in the past also, and was quoted as saying last year: "When I sent him to Hull, I watched him every single game and all the reports I had were very positive. I was quite surprised no club went for him because I would have let him go."

A possessor of sharp reactions, Mannone is a pretty agile and quick goalkeeper. Also known to be a vocal shotstopper, the Italian, however, can be subdued in a crowded penalty area and needs to improve on his dominance in the same.

It would be in the best interests of the Italian if he chooses a move away from the Emirates this summer.