Sunderland to hold Lamine Kone contract talks next week
Sunderland will hold contract talks with Lamine Kone next week, David Moyes has confirmed.
The Black Cats managed to hold on to star defender Kone this summer despite fierce interest from Premier League rivals Everton.
The Toffees made a bid of £18million for Kone earlier in the summer transfer window, but Sunderland were determined not to lose one of their best players.
Deadline day passed without any further bids from Everton and now contract talks are scheduled to take place next week.
Kone has been away on international duty during the break.
Ahead of the Everton game, David Moyes told the Echo: "There is a meeting in place for next week for the agents and that to do the deal, hopefully."
Moyes has previously said the saga has been a difficult period for everyone involved but says he will be "delighted" if the 27-year-old signs a new contract.
With talks scheduled, hopes are high that the matter can be resolved swiftly.
"It has been a difficult period for us all," Moyes said earlier this month.
"I understand Lamine’s position, but I also understand the position of the club – we are looking to get things resolved.
"I will be delighted if Lamine signs a new contract. Hopefully, there might be some news.
"We always said if there was a promise made we would stick by our word and we would do that.
"We won’t change on that at all."
Everton lodged an £18m offer in early August, which then led to a statement being put out in Kone’s name claiming he wanted a move after Sunderland had failed to offer him a promised
new deal – a claim rejected by the club.
Sunderland confirmed they would be offering him a new deal once the window had closed but decided to offer Kone a new contract earlier, ahead of the recent Middlesbrough game.
Kone then complained of a bad back less than 24 hours after turning down the offer, which saw him miss the defeat to Boro and an EFL Cup win over Shrewsbury Town.
Kone returned to the first team for the 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium last Saturday.
The Ivory Coast international is expected to line up alongside £8million summer signing Papy Djilobodji against Everton at the Stadium of Light on Monday night.
Jason Denayer, who signed on a season-long loan from Manchester City on deadline day, played his first 90 minutes of the season against Rochdale in the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek.
The 21-year-old Belgium international is expected to be in the squad against Everton but is unlikely to be in the starting line-up.
Moyes has said he could look to use a three-man back line at times this season after adding another centre-back to his options.