Reading boss Mark Bowen has said it will be ‘difficult’ for the club to keep goalkeeper Vito Mannone from a financial point of view.
The Italian has spent time on loan at Major League Soccer outfit Minnesota United during the course of 2019, after falling out of favour at Reading. He kept 11 clean sheets for the Loons last season in the MLS.
It has since been reported this week by The Athletic’s Jeff Reuter that the Midwestern club have offered Mannone a permanent deal, which could see the 31-year-old become the highest paid MLS goalkeeper in 2020.
Royals boss Mark Bowen has been discussing the situation in the pre-match press conference ahead of Reading’s upcoming game against Birmingham, stating that Minnesota are interested in Mannone because of the quality that he brings.
“I understand he is a very good keeper. He got goalkeeper of the year in the MLS last year, so there is no doubt they would want him back because he is obviously settled well there,” Bowen told the Reading Chronicle.
When asked if whether he would like Mannone to stay put at the Madejski Stadium, Bowen made it clear the club do not see Mannone as their No.1 goalkeeper going forward.
“It’s difficult for us as a club for him to come back here and justify having – dare I say – a number two keeper who is on the contract that he is on,” Bowen said.
Mannone has made 47 appearances in total for Reading, joining the club back in the summer of 2017 from Sunderland for a fee of £2 million.
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Bowen has made it clear that Mannone has no future at the club, with Reading likely to accept Minnesota’s offer.
With Rafael Cabral as the current No.1 goalkeeper at Reading, it would not make sense for the club to keep Mannone if the Italian is not regularly featuring in goal. His probable departure will also free up the wage bill considerably.