Sunderland's Lamine Kone celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal against Borussia Dortmund
According to the Daily Mail, Everton have offered £18m for Sunderland centre back Lamine Kone – and he's believed to have even travelled to Merseyside ahead of a possible deal.
Kone, 27, joined Sunderland from French side Lorient in January, and after a protracted transfer saga, he proved just why former Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce was so keen to bring him to the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland's Lamine Kone in action with Watford's Troy Deeney
The Ivorian international centre back starred as Sunderland managed to avoid relegation to the Championship, showing power and leadership in the heart of the Sunderland defence whilst even adding two goals in 15 games to show off his attacking threat too.
Remarkably, after just over six months on Wearside, Kone's performances appear to have triggered major interest, as the Daily Mail report that Everton have now offered £18m for the centre back.
Lamine Kone scores the second goal for Sunderland against Everton
With John Stones' future at Goodison Park in doubt, new manager Ronald Koeman is hoping to bring at least one centre back to Everton this summer, and he appears to have set his sights on Kone.
The report claims that, whilst Sunderland boss David Moyes has asked about taking players to the Stadium of Light in a part-exchange deal as he looks to fill out his squad, Everton have so far offered a straight £18m for the powerful Ivorian.
West Brom's Saido Berahino in action with Sunderland's Lamine Kone
It's even claimed that Kone travelled to Merseyside during the night in anticipation of a move being agreed between the two clubs, even though there is still some work to do before the teams shake hands on a deal.
It would be quite the U-turn if Kone does leave, as the Daily Mail reported on Saturday that Kone intended to stay at the Stadium of Light despite being well aware of Everton's interest.
Now, having allegedly travelled down to Merseyside, it seems that Kone may have changed his mind - and it would be a huge blow for Sunderland to lose their star defender just days before the start of the new Premier League season.
Would you accept £18m for Kone?