The Romanian goalkeeper has admitted that he wants to leave the Etihad Stadium in the summer in search of first-team football, but he has one more trophy in his sights first
Costel Pantilimon looks set to leave Manchester City at the end of the season, the goalkeeper has revealed, but he hopes to bow out with an FA Cup winner's medal.
Pantilimon arrived from Romanian side Timisoara in 2011, but since signing has only ever been backup to Joe Hart, though has featured in the cup competitions, particularly the FA Cup and League Cup.
After failing to make a single Premier League appearance in his two seasons at the club, the 26-year-old is eager to move on, but he is hopeful of ending his City stay by winning the upcoming FA Cup final against Wigan.
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“I don’t know if Saturday will be my last game for the club, it depends on what happens. I am only sure that I want to play – that’s what is best for me.
“For a keeper it is difficult. Players in other positions get to play for a few minutes but it’s not like that for a keeper.
“I’m happy I’m here but it’s normal that I want to play. I am young, not 35 or something waiting to finish my career.
“The manager of the national team tells me every time I speak to him ‘please try to play more’ so it’s also important for my country as well as for my career.”
Pantilimon has been City’s designated cup keeper throughout the season, and he believes manager Roberto Mancini made the decision on day one in order to prevent potential speculation before matches.
He added: “The manager stopped all the speculation. It’s an important game and you don’t want everyone to speculate about what is happening.
“I think Joe is okay about it. He is a good colleague and a friend, and I know he understands the position. He plays in all the games, and I’ve waited for my chance in the cup.
“I knew Joe is a very good keeper but I took the risk because it was an opportunity to be at a top club.
“I still think City was a good choice by me. I have been waiting for my chance, and now I am playing in the FA Cup final.”