In a bid to persuade his man to stay put, Sunderland manager David Moyes has dangled a huge financial carrot in front of centre-back Lamine Kone, though Everton’s pockets may be deeper still.
The subject of a recently rejected £14m bid from Moyes’ former club, Kone’s impact since joining the Black Cats from Lorient in January has been keenly felt on Wearside and the Black Cats boss clearly sees the defender as an integral part of his plans going forward.
In a concerted attempt to dissuade the burly 6ft 1″ defender leaving for Merseyside, widespread reports suggest the 27-year-old now has an offer of £50k per-week in wages on the table to stay on at the Stadium of Light.
Even in light of this money-doubling sum, the ball is still potentially in Kone’s court should he decide to try and force through a move to Goodison Park.
The Sun newspaper imply that Ronald Koeman’s new employers are prepared to exceed whatever wage packet Sunderland are willing to pay the Ivorian international.
Until Kone puts pen to paper on any new deal in the north east, Moyes and the rest of the Sunderland faithful will be left waiting anxiously for the transfer window to officially close in just shy of a fortnight.
News that experienced centre-back Younes Kabul is now on his way to Watford from Wearside, only increases the need for Kone to stay and fight for the cause.
Although they eventually succumbed to a late goal from Manchester City in their Premier League opener, Moyes’ men had mostly put in a resolute defensive performance, with Kone and Kabul dovetailing well.
Losing both players would be very damaging.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.