Sunderland transfer news: West Brom and Crystal Palace weigh up summer move for Cats defender

Sunderland defender Lamine Kone. PA pic.
Sunderland defender Lamine Kone. PA pic.
Have your say

Interest from rival Premier League clubs in Sunderland defender Lamine Kone is ramping up ahead of the summer.

The 28-year-old centre-back was subject to an £18million bid from Everton last summer but the Black Cats held firm and kept hold of one of the star performers of last season's Great Escape.

Kone, though, has struggled to reach the heights of last season and is widely expected to depart the Stadium of Light this summer, with the squad facing a major overhaul in the wake of relegation to the Championship.

Despite going down with Sunderland this season, there remains strong interest from Premier League clubs in the Ivorian centre-back, with West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace - managed by former Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce - the latest clubs to be linked.

Reports suggest Palace, who signed Patrick van Aanholt from Sunderland in January for a fee rising to £14million, could start the bidding at £10million for Kone once the summer transfer window opens.

That figure would likely receive short shrift from officials at the Stadium of Light, with Kone valued at closer to £20million last summer.

And Sunderland boss David Moyes has already warned clubs that the likes of Jordan Pickford and Kone will not be sold on the cheap despite the club's relegation and the bleak financial picture.

Recent accounts showed debt levels at around £110 million, with the club expected to lose around £50 million of revenue in TV money when they drop into the second tier.

Moyes said: "I think if that’s the case [clubs circling] then we’ll have to be expensive sellers.

"I don’t think it has happened very often here at Sunderland, very few have been sold for a profit, I can think of people like Jordan Henderson off the top of my head.

"If people come for our players they’ll have to pay the top price."