Spartak eye Pantilimon swoop

Costel Pantilimon
Costel Pantilimon's agent admits his client is keen to play regular first-team football. Photo: PA

Russian side Spartak Moscow are interested in signing Manchester City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, according to the player's agent.

The 25-year-old Romanian is said to be top of Spartak's wishlist as they look for a long-term replacement for current incumbent, 35-year-old Ukrainian Andriy Dykan.

And Pantilimon's representative Alexander Sigal told Russian newspaper Izvestia that the Russian club has already had discussions over a transfer.

"Representatives of Spartak have spoken to me about the possible transfer of Pantilimon to Russia," Sigal said.

"However, for now we're at the negotiation stage. We will only be able to talk about something concrete in January when the transfer window opens."

Pantilimon has so far been content to serve as back-up to Manchester City's number one choice Joe Hart, and has made just six appearances in all competitions for City since his move from Politehnica Timisoara last summer..

But Sigal talked up the 6'8" goalkeeper's ambitions to become a first-choice himself.

"Costel is blossoming and he can't sit on the bench forever," Sigal said. "City boss Roberto Mancini is backing Joe Hart completely, and Pantilimon only gets matches in the League Cup.

"In the winter we will seriously think about a change of club," the agent confirmed.