Steve McClaren claims Newcastle United turned down chance to sign Sunderland hero Lamine Kone

Lamine Kone scores the second goal for Sunderland

The Ivorian is now being linked with an £18 million transfer.

Lamine Kone scores the second goal for SunderlandLamine Kone scores the second goal for Sunderland

Newcastle United’s former manager Steve McClaren has sensationally revealed on Sky Sports News HQ this morning (11/08/16) that the Magpies could have signed Sunderland defender Lamine Kone in January – on a no cost loan deal.

He stated: “Willy McKay was his agent. I remember in January he came to us and said, ‘His move to Sunderland has not gone through he’s, he’s moved out, the move’s broke down twice, the player’s disillusioned and doesn’t know what to do. Will you take him? Will you take him on loan, even a free loan?’”

Lamine Kone scores the second goal for SunderlandLamine Kone scores the second goal for Sunderland

“When we looked into it, it was just the wrong time really. It was coming to the end of the window and we had to make a quick decision and it couldn’t go through in time.

“Unfortunately for us he went to Sunderland and helped them stay up.”

It comes in the wake of Kone’s apparently imminent £18 million move to Everton and will have Newcastle fans undoubtedly frustrated at the club’s inability to bring in the Ivorian.

Sunderland's Lamine Kone scores their first goalSunderland's Lamine Kone scores their first goal

Kone went on to become the star at Sunderland, reinforcing their defensive fragility, as Sam Allardyce led Newcastle’s biggest rivals to Premier League survival.

Meanwhile, at Newcastle, McClaren was sacked and the club were relegated to the Championship, to the joy of Black Cats’ fans.

Kone’s move to Sunderland from Lorient last January was a protracted one.

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren looks dejectedNewcastle manager Steve McClaren looks dejected

Allardyce even had this to say at one point, as reported by the BBC: "That has finished now, it's broken down. Negotiations have now stopped."

But the deal did get done and Newcastle fans will now be wondering why on earth their side did not snap up the player who is now believed to be on the verge of an £18 million transfer.

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