Could this Premier League forward be the answer to Sunderland's striker crisis?

Arouna Kone
Arouna Kone
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Sunderland have had to switch targets for a new striker after Leicester City knocked back a third - and seemingly final - offer for Leonardo Ulloa.

The Foxes have rejected a £7.5million bid, with the Champions refusing to budge on their stance of not selling to a relegation rival.

It leaves Sunderland looking for alternative targets in the final hours of the window and one name as emerged as a potential option - Everton striker Arouna Kone.

The 33-year-old striker is free to leave Everton this window and wants to stay in the Premier League. QPR are also said to be interested.

Toffees boss Ronald Koeman is clearing the decks at Goodison Park and he wouldn't command a huge transfer fee.

Asked if Kone would be leaving the club before tonight's 11pm deadline, Koeman told the Liverpool Echo: "It is possible he will leave.

"I don’t know (if it will be before the window), he is training and doing well but he likes to play...we have used other players than Arouna.

"I have had some offers for him."

Kone joined Everton in the summer of 2013 in a £6million deal but has struggled for football under Koeman, making just six appearances this season, scoring twice against Yeovil in the EFL Cup.

Kone scored a hat-trick against Sunderland in Everton's 6-2 win over the Black Cats last season.

He triggered an extension to his contract last season which sees him tied to the club until the end of the current campaign.