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Watford admit interest in Costel Pantilimon as back up for Gomes

Quique Sanchez Flores has confirmed the club’s desire to bring in another goalkeeper amid talk of a move for Sunderland’s Costel Pantilimon.

The Romanian, 28, has fallen behind Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford at the Stadium of Light and the recruitment team at Watford have been alerted to his availability. Espanyol are also reportedly chasing Pantilimon who moved to Sunderland from Manchester City in 2014.

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“It is player we are looking for,” Sanchez Flores told Monday Night Football. “we don’t need a goalkeeper to replace Heurelho [Gomes] because he is an amazing goalkeeper, who plays amazing all the time, but we are looking for cover for players who are playing every time.”

Watford may have moved for Pantilimon as they found it difficult to get Idriss Kameni out of Malaga and convince the Cameroon goalkeeper to come and play second fiddle to the ever present Gomes at Vicarage Road.

Pantilimon was the classic No 2 at the Etihad Stadium and came in for Joe Hart to play for Man City against Watford in the FA Cup tie at the Etihad in 2014. He moved to the Stadium of Light to be the No.1 but he has been left out of the last three matchday squads.

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“It depends how the situation develops as the month goes on,” Sam Allardyce said last week. “One [Mannone or Pantilimon] may find it more difficult than the other if they are not playing and may say that they want a move. Vito said that; that he needed to play first-team football. But now Vito has got a chance, it could be Costel [who leaves]. Who knows what will happen? All three are here now and you need three goalkeepers anyway.”

The arrival of another senior goalkeeper at Vicarage Road would raise doubts over the faith in Giedrius Arlauskis. The 28-year-old endured a shaky debut against Preston North End in the Capital One Cup and was all at sea when he was summoned into action at Villa Park when Gomes was carried off on a stretcher. It was telling how Gomes was given until the morning of the match to confirm his recovery from the blow to the head for the game against Norwich City and that Arlauskis was not given a run out against Newcastle United in a much-changed side.