Slaven Bilic wants Sunderland star to help plug leaky defence

As reported by The Sun, West Ham United are looking to sign Sunderland’s Ivorian international defender Lamine Kone.

What’s the word?

Despite being rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, Sunderland have generally been able to rely on Kone to steady the ship in the heart of their defence this season.

That could be about to change. According to The Sun, Slaven Bilic will activate Kone’s £18m release clause this January after having a similar bid rejected for the big defender in the summer.

Kone’s situation has changed and he signed a new contract in September, with the transfer clause inserted following the Hammers’ big money bid.

Any move would be a bitter blow to David Moyes and Black Cats fans who have seen their side pick up a measly three wins so far this season.

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The answer for the Irons?

Sunderland have actually conceded fewer goals this season than four of the five teams above in the league, including West Ham.

Lamine Kone has played a big part in that and his presence would no doubt be a positive in a West Ham defence that has shipped 15 goals in their last 5 games alone.

Kone has the experience required to help West Ham out in a pinch with over 250 professional appearances in his career, including a 6 season stint in Ligue 1.

Should Bilic move for the Ivory Coast international, it could be a big step towards ensuring the Irons don’t slip into a relegation battle.