Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says he has not held any discussions with Arsenal, amid speculation linking him with a summer move to the Emirates Stadium.
The 25-year-old, who joined the Black Cats from Sint-Truiden in 2010 for a fee in the region of £2 million, earned rave reviews for his performances last season, despite the club only narrowly escaping relegation.
The Belgium international’s impressive displays have led to him being linked with the likes of the Gunners and Liverpool in recent weeks, however, Mignolet insists he has not spoken to anyone from the North London club.
“I am ambitious, and I read the press as you do,” he told the Sunderland Echo. “It has been a difficult season with Sunderland. It’s not much fun to play at the bottom of the league, and I think Sunderland will know they have to change something to prevent another season like that. The manager wants to change the team for the better. Let’s hope he can do that next season.
“I have read about it [the speculation], but I haven’t heard anything [official]. 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 capped off his season by winning the North East Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year, and the ‘keeper feels his performances last term have highlighted his development as a player.
“I am happy with my season,” he said. “I played 38 [league] 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.”