Sunderland 'vigorously defend' position over collapsed Lamine Kone transfer

Lamine Kone
Lamine Kone
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Sunderland say they "vigorously defend" their position over the collapse of the Lamine Kone transfer from French side Lorient.

Ivory Coast international Kone spent time in the North East last week only for the £5million deal to break down.

Sky Sports News reported Lorient are unhappy with the way the deal broke down and will meet with the Federation Francaise de Football (FFF) next week, with the French club considering taking legal action, because the player missed three games as a result of his failed transfer.

But a Sunderland spokesperson told Sky Sports News HQ: "We find talk of potential legal action to be ludicrous and would vigorously defend our position on this."

Boss Sam Allardyce was asked about the situation in his post-match press conference at Arsenal.

Allardyce added: "We have already given a comment on that, the club. We will leave it at that.

"Any deal can break down at any stage."

Sunderland are now targeting a centre forward and a right-back in this window after capturing the signing of Bayern Munich centre back Jan Kirchhoff in a £750,000 deal last week.

Meanwhile, Allardyce has again hit out at the Premier League ahead of Wednesday night's game at Swansea City - a match that was pushed back 24-hours - with the Black Cats due to play Spurs away on Saturday lunchtime.

The Sunderland boss said players are "running on empty" at this time of the season following the busy festive programme and questioned whether the top flight in this country should follow others in having a winter break.

Allardyce said: "The welfare of players is a great risk at this time of the season and you have seen it with the amount of injuries there have been.

"The average recovery for a full recovery is four days, minimum, these days.

"The players are running on empty and you don't get the level of entertainment because the players are physically and mentally drained.

"People will say 'they get that much money it shouldn't bother them'. That is rubbish.

"The players take the dosh and they have to put up with the fixtures, I'd agree with that though.

"We have to follow Europe in everything we do, the transfer system, we have been made to scrap the emergency loan system next year - nobody wants to do that in this country.

"So why aren't we made to have a break? If we follow Europe all the time?"