ST. PAUL — Minnesota United has extended Vito Mannone a multi-year contract offer that would make him the highest-paid goalkeeper in MLS in 2020, a source confirmed Monday, Dec. 2, to the Pioneer Press.
The offer, first reported by The Athletic, would be more than Atlanta’s Brad Guzan, who received $740,000 in guaranteed compensation in 2019. Last year, Mannone earned $594,000, which was behind only Guzan and Colorado’s Tim Howard, who netted $2.4 million before he retired at season’s end.
Mannone came in Minnesota last year on a one-year loan from Reading in the England’s second-tier Championship division. He stood out, playing every competitive minute and helping lead a defensive turnaround that ended with the club’s first berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
He was named MLS goalkeeper of the year in 2019, and his 129 saves were second in MLS and a club record. He also set season marks for wins (15) and shutouts (11).
When Mannone, 31, left Minnesota after the Loons’ first-round playoff loss to Los Angeles Galaxy in mid-October, he said he was going to decompress from the long season and talk with his family before making a decision about his future.
Mannone, from Desio, Italy, addressed his future in a report out of Italy over the holiday weekend.
“On paper, the loan expires on December 31st, so from January 1st I can move to a new club,” Mannone said, via a translation from Italian. “At the end of the season (in summer 2020), my contract with Reading ends, and I don’t think I have a future there. I’m expecting a call from Serie A,” the top league in Italy.
Mannone’s salary figure for 2020 would exceed the league’s maximum budget charge, which was of $530,000 in 2019, and likely would need the MLS budget fund Targeted Allocation Money to be bought down under that max.