Sunderland ARE keeping the door open on defender Lamine Kone, despite the bitter breakdown of the move last week.
Kone looked to be on the verge of joining Sunderland at the start of the January transfer window after the Black Cats agreed a fee around the £5million mark with French side Lorient.
But after Kone spent more than a week on Wearside, undergoing a medical and discussing personal terms, Sunderland pulled out of the deal, with Lorient branding the withdrawal as “outrageous” and threatening to report the Black Cats to the French FA.
However, reports in France have indicated that Sunderland have revived their interest in Kone and the Echo understands that it IS a possibility that the Ivory Coast international could yet move to the Stadium of Light during this window.
That is a significant surprise after Sam Allardyce said last week that the deal was “finished”, with Kone returning to France, amidst reported interest from Norwich and Aston Villa.
But it is understood that the deal did not break down due to any financial factor.
A problem arose midway through the original discussions which proved to be insurmountable for Sunderland, yet the two parties now appear to be willing to renegotiate the terms of the deal.
Sunderland have boosted their central defensive ranks with the signing of Bayern Munich’s Jan Kirchhoff, but it is understood to still be an area of concern for Allardyce.
Kirchhoff is short on match fitness, Younes Kaboul is out until the end of next month, Wes Brown is at the tail end of his career and Sebastian Coates has been distinctly inconsistent since his £2m summer move from Liverpool.
Sunderland are on the verge of boosting their striking ranks, with Dame N’Doye arriving on a four-month loan deal from Turkish side Trabzonspor.
But Allardyce has admitted he would ideally like another two fresh faces – if he can offload players – with the Sunderland boss thought to be keen on a pair of defenders.