Sunderland transfers: Martin O’Neill rules out Keiren Westwood departure
Sunderland transfers: Martin O'Neill insists he won't allow Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood to leave
Martin O’Neill is adamant Sunderland’s second-choice goalkeeper Keiren Westwood won’t be leaving the Stadium of Light despite reported interest from Hull City.
Westwood is currently behind Belgium international Simon Mignolet in the pecking order at the Black Cats, with the 28-year-old providing competition for a first-team spot.
The former Coventry City shot stopper has assumed the vacant goalkeeper spot in Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland side after Shay Given retired following a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign.
And while O’Neill understands Westwood’s desire to be playing on a regular basis, the Sunderland boss is unwilling to drop Mignolet, who is in good form, but he doesn’t want to lose the Irishman.
“My situation is that I have a very good goalkeeper in reserve, but it is hard to drop Simon Mignolet when he is playing so well,” O’Neill told the Sunderland Echo.
“The fact is I’m very reluctant to let anyone go because we simply don’t have the back-up.”
O’Neill did confirm he received a phone call from another manager expressing an interest in signing Westwood on loan, but the Northern Irishman is unaware of interest from Hull City.
“A manager did ask me about Keiren a few days ago – rang me manager-to-manager, which seems to be very rare these days – and I just had to tell him we couldn’t do anything,” O’Neill added.
“I haven’t heard of an interest from Hull, but Kieren wants to play some games, of course he wants to play.”