Vito Mannone’s long term injury forced Sunderland to sign a goalkeeper during the transfer window.

David Moyes’ side were linked to a number of goalkeepers, but only managed to sign Mika from Portuguese side Boavista, with the deal going through after deadline day.

According to Italian website Gazza Mercato, Sunderland also tried signing Napoli’s back up goalkeeper Rafael Cabral.

Gazza Mercato say Sunderland tried ‘several times’ to sign the 26-year-old on a loan deal with an option to buy, but couldn’t agree a deal.

Rafael signed for Napoli from Santos in 2013 in a €5m deal, but has never managed to cement his place in the starting XI.

Former Liverpool star Pepe Reina is currently Napoli’s first choice goalkeeper, and Sunderland must have felt the player would be available.

Speaking to Calcio Napoli24, the player’s agent Paulo Affonso confirmed a Sunderland approach earlier this week: “Of the formal interests there were three: one here in Brazil, a great team even if not successful, then in Europe, Sunderland and Espanyol. There was not enough time with the English club, who had lost its goalkeeper to injury.

“This was 48 hours before the close of the transfer market, there was not enough time to close such a transaction, either to borrow or outright,”