“Ambitious” transfer target wants to “step up a level”

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Liverpool transfer target Simon Mignolet is likely to leave Sunderland, seeking an ambitious move to a club competing for European football, according to the player’s agent.

Mignolet, 24, kept an impressive 11 clean sheets in 38 Premier League appearances last season – despite Sunderland‘s poor form, and discussed his ambitions last week.

He currently has two years remaining on his contract at the Stadium of Light but his agent Nico Vaesen told the Sunderland Echo it is “very unlikely that he will sign a new contract.”

“Simon has obviously come to a point where he wants to step up a level and there is a lot of interest in him.

“He is very ambitious and wants to play in the World Cup, in Brazil, next year.

“It was a good thing that Sunderland stayed up and it is a fantastic club where he has had three great years.

“But it is maybe time to step up a level and play for a club competing for a European spot.”

A host of clubs have been linked with the highly-rated Belgium international, including Arsenal. Any move from Liverpool seemingly hinders on whether Pepe Reina will return to Barcelona, the latest quotes from the Spaniard say he will be remaining at Anfield. Should Pepe depart, Mignolet and Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic appear to be top of manager Brendan Rodgers’ shortlist.

The Sunderland Echo believe The Black Cats would be able to command a fee “far in excess of the meagre £6.5 million figure mooted over the weekend”.

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