Everton to launch £17m bid for Sunderland star

Everton are keen to sign Sunderland defender Lamine Kone and will offer a fee in the region of £17 million to tempt him to Goodison Park, according to The Northern Echo.

The Ivory Coast international moved to Wearside from Lorient in January and played a considerable part in keeping the Stadium of Light outfit in the top tier of English football.

Ronald Koeman has money to spend after taking over as Toffees boss and has reported identified Kone as a new addition.

The Merseysiders face a battle to keep hold of John Stones this summer amid interest from Manchester City and as such the African enforcer could well be a replacement.

Sunderland boss David Moyes is said to be desperate to keep Kone at the club, despite landing Papy Djilobodji from Chelsea on Friday.

Kone scored the equaliser for Sunderland in their latest 1-1 pre-season friendly draw against Borussia Dortmund and chipped in two important goals last season in the Premier League.