It’s fair to say David Moyes has a history when it comes to re-signing former players. Eight of his 11 additions at Sunderland last season had played under him before and, after being appointed as the new manager of West Ham on a short-term deal, Hammers fans were wondering who would reunite with the Scot at the London Stadium.
While 2016/17 Sunderland signings Jolean Lescott, Stephen Pienaar and Victor Anichebe enjoyed the best seasons of their careers under Moyes, however, the same cannot be said of Lamine Kone.
The defender performed well below expectations as Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League, responding in the worst possible way after Moyes blocked his 2016 move to Everton, per Sky Sports.
Reports in The Mirror that Moyes was planning to bring Kone with him to West Ham in January, then, raised a few eyebrows. A week later, however it appears that the manager has come to his senses.
What next for Sunderland?
The 25-year-old would command a huge fee having only signed a new five-year deal in August but has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water and you’d get short odds on him coming into contention for England duty. Kone, in contrast, is no longer a guaranteed starter for a Sunderland side bottom of the Championship.
And with Sunderland in desperate need to sell before they can buy in January, West Ham’s interest in Dunk is a major blow. The Chronicle reported that The Black Cats are hoping to sell Kone in January and may accept just £6 million for a player valued at around £18 million a year ago.
The positive news, however, is that The Sun on Sunday (29th October, page 48) reported that Brighton themselves were preparing to offer £5 million for Kone in January. Perhaps one bid could lead to another, setting the transfer merry-go-round into full swing.
If West Ham sign Dunk, Brighton could bring in Kone as a ready-made replacement. Sunderland, meanwhile, probably won't care where Kone ends up as long as he earns them a few quid.