Everton make offer for Sunderland defender Lamine Kone

Lamine Kone scores the second goal for Sunderland

HITC Sport understands the Toffees have joined the hunt for Mackems star Kone.

Lamine Kone scores the second goal for SunderlandLamine Kone (right) scoring against Everton last season

Everton have made an approach for Sunderland defender Lamine Kone, HITC Sport understands.

The Toffees' offer for Kone, who has been linked with moves to Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion this past week (the Sun), is worth £16 million.

And Sunderland are likely to accept, given they have one of the Premier League's smallest budgets this season.

Everton are on the lookout for a new centre-half with John Stones continually linked with a move to Manchester City and Kone appears to fit the bill for new head coach Ronald Koeman.

Everton's John Stones warms up before the matchJohn Stones (left) could be on his way out of Goodison Park

The Ivorian has impressed since arriving on Wearside six months ago from Lorient, helping to keep Sunderland up with the best defensive record of the division's bottom five clubs.

And Sunderland stand to make a £10 million profit on the 27-year-old, who scored both of his goals for the Mackems against the Toffees, should the deal go through.

Lamine Kone scores the second goal for Sunderland

Everton have added Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to their ranks so far, but are expected to press on with their summer recruitment drive following last week's appointment of Steve Walsh as director of football.

Sky Sport Austria reported on Monday the Toffees are ready to activate the £12.5 million release clause of Stoke City winger Marko Arnautovic.

Marko Arnautovic scores the first goal for StokeEverton are reportedly planning to active Marko Arnautovic's release clause

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