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Photo: At last, Lamine Kone poses with Sunderland shirt after signing deal

Lamine Kone is finally a Sunderland player.

Lamine Kone is finally a Sunderland player, ending one of the most protracted transfer sagas of the window so far.

Sunderland's official club website confirmed Kone has signed on a permanent basis, citing an undisclosed transfer fee.

Kone has signed a four and a half year deal with Sam Allardyce's side which will keep him at the club until June 2020.

He will wear the previously vacant number 23 shirt at the club, the club website confirms.

Sunderland had made two previous attempts to sign Kone from Lorient, only for the deal to fall through on both occasions over personal terms, with negotiations starting in mid-December.

The Black Cats are in the midst of a relegation battle, with the club currently in 19th place with 19 points, four behind 17th placed Norwich City.

The centre-back becomes Sunderland's second defensive signing of the transfer window, following Bayern Munich reserve Jan Kirchoff.

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