Sunderland may be desperate to cash in on want-away centre-back Lamine Kone as they aim to raise funds for new additions, but that does not mean they are ready to let the Ivorian go for next to nothing.
Kone’s price tag has fallen considerably since Sunderland rejected an £18 million offer from Everton in the summer of 2016. But The Black Cats will still want to recoup much of the £6 million they gave Lorient for the defender’s signature.
Which perhaps explains why they have rejected an approach from Strasbourg to take Kone back to Ligue 1.
Le Racing, who finished 15th in their first season back in France’s top flight, have made a new centre-back their top priority. And it is understood that 29-year-old Kone is very interested in a move to Strasbourg, according to RMC.
The report, however, adds that Strasbourg’s interest has cooled with Sunderland demanding a bigger fee than they were expecting for a defender who seems almost certain to bid farewell to the Stadium of Light this summer – though the Alsatian club have not yet given up hope entirely.
Kone was omitted from the Sunderland side who began their pre-season preparations with a 1-0 defeat to Darlington earlier in the week and manager Jack Ross pulled no punches when discussing his future.
“Lamine doesn’t want to be here, so has been left out. That’s where we are at,” Ross told the Northern Echo.