Sunderland look to resolve Lamine Kone contract situation

Lamine Kone
Lamine Kone
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Sunderland will look to resolve Lamine Kone’s contract situation after the defender remained at the club despite fierce interest from 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.

Boss David Moyes admitted it has been a difficult period for everyone involved but says he will be “delighted” if the 27-year-old signs a new contract.

Moyes had been adamant that Kone would not be leaving the club this summer and the manager deserves credit for his strong stance.

“It has been a difficult period for us all,” Moyes told the Echo.

“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 and Moyes hopes to now resolve the contract issue.

Against Southampton, Kone lined up alongside £8million summer signing Papy Djilobodji.

The pair have extra competition for a starting place against Everton, when Premier League action returns after the international break, after the loan signing of Jason Denayer.

The versatile defender arrived on a season-long loan from Manchester City on deadline day.

The 21-year-old has spent the past two seasons out on loan at Celtic and Turkish side Galatasaray.

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.