Lamine Kone has told Sunderland that he wants to leave before the close of the transfer window amid broken promises regarding a new contract at the Stadium of Light, according to reports from Sky Sports.
The Ivorian defender has been heavily aligned with Everton of late, with the Merseysiders understood to have tabled an £18m offer for his signature following John Stones’ long talked about move to Manchester City.
Although initial speculation suggested that Kone, who starred as the Black Cats avoided relegation last term after arriving during the winter window from Lorient, was eager to stay, Sky Sports claim to have been told by the player that he’s ready to move on after not being handed a new contract by the North East outfit:
“After a week in which there has been a vast amount of speculation with regard to my future at Sunderland Football Club, I think that it is only fair to the fans of the club to clarify the situation,
“At the end of last season I was told by the club that I would be offered a new contract.
“Following numerous phone conversation and face-to-face meetings, the latest of which took place today with David Moyes and Martin Bain, no contract has been forthcoming.
“It is therefore with much regret that I can only assume that I do not figure in David Moyes’ future plans.
“With that being the case it is with much sadness that I have asked the manager and the chief executive to be allowed to leave Sunderland Football Club.
“However, until that time I give my word that I will give my utmost in training and on the field.”
The following is a statement from Lamine Kone, who has tonight asked to leave Sunderland AFC. pic.twitter.com/nJ95z1a0Ye
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 11, 2016
Kone now appears likely to move to Everton, albeit there is mooted interest from Chelsea, who may elect to snap up the commanding 27-year-old before the close of the window.