Reported Liverpool transfer target Simon Mignolet has spoken out about his discontent at the struggles from relegation he and Sunderland have gone through.
The Reds have been linked with a move for the Belgian international goalkeeper this summer, with speculation growing around the future of Pepe Reina at Anfield.
“I am ambitious, and I read the press as you do,” Mignolet told the Daily Mail. “It has been a difficult season with Sunderland. It’s not much fun to play bottom of the League, and I think Sunderland will know they have to change something to prevent another season like that.
“The manager [Di Canio] wants to change the team for the better. Let’s hope he can do that next season. ”
Mignolet was a permanent fixture in the Black Cats team as they narrowly avoided relegation, finishing just three points off the relegation zone.
“I am happy with my season,” the 25-year-old added. “I played 38 matches. Few players can say they did that in a Premier League season. I also managed 11 clean sheets, which is not bad if you’re playing at the bottom of the division. To do that, you have to be mentally strong, and I think it shows I have progressed a lot as a goalkeeper.
“Apart from the two club awards, I was voted north-east player of the year, and that is not a bad achievement, considering Newcastle were playing in European competition and had players like Demba Ba and Ben Arfa in their ranks. I have had a good season, so it’s logical your name is linked with one or two teams.”
Mignolet’s comments will surely prick ears around Liverpool’s scouting team who are looking to conclude transfer deals early this summer.
The 6ft 3inch shotstopper also responded to recent speculation linking him with Arsenal, but appeared laid back on the rumours.
He continued, “I have read about it, but I haven’t heard anything. I know there has been talk about Arsenal, but I haven’t heard anything or received a phone call from Arsene Wenger. I will stay calm and focused on the Belgium games, and after that, go on holiday with my girlfriend. We will see what happens.”
Mignolet is the second choice goalkeeper for Belgium, having won 13 caps for his country.