Sunderland end pursuit of Lorient defender Lamine Kone

Lamine Kone
Lamine Kone
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Sunderland have finally ended their interest in Lorient defender Lamine Kone, the Echo understands.

The Black Cats have been in negotiations throughout the January transfer window for Ivory Coast international Kone, as Sam Allardyce has looked for defensive reinforcements.

A £5million move for Kone broke down at the start of the month, despite the 26-year-old spending more than a week on Wearside undergoing a medical and discussing personal terms.

That didn't prove an end to the proposed deal, with the negotiations continuing over a loan move until the end of the season.

However, it is now understood that Sunderland have now drawn a line under their pursuit of Kone and they will not be reviving their interest.

Sunderland and Lorient remain on good terms, and there has been no bitter breakdown over the negotiations, as there was at the start of the month when Kone's original switch collapsed.

But Sunderland are now looking at other targets to improve a defence which has conceded more goals than any other Premier League side this season.

German centre-half Jan Kirchhoff arrived at the Stadium of Light a fortnight ago, yet demonstrated in his debut at Spurs on Saturday that he remains dreadfully short on match fitness.