By Tom Blackburn
David Moyes has claimed Lamine Kone will be offered a new Sunderland contract once the summer transfer window is over.
Kone, 27, looks set to leave Sunderland after handing in a transfer request on Thursday night while releasing a damning verdict on the north-east club’s efforts to keep him.
In the statement, Kone claimed that an expected improved contract offer had failed to materialise and that he had concluded he was not part of David Moyes’ plans.
Moyes admitted Everton had tabled a bid for the centre-back but he does not want to lose him and Sunderland will make a contract offer within weeks.
Moyes is eager to remove this doubt, claiming a contract offer will come and that he needs Kone in his squad.
“I think it’s important to know that we met with Lamine and his agents last night. We’ve told him there will be a contract for him on September 1,” he said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“We want to get the transfer window out of the way. We are aware of someone telling him about a new contract if we stayed up. We’ll definitely honour that. But its not top of the agenda at the moment.
“We’ve told him that it will be renewed in September and told him we’ve received a bid from Everton. It surprised me to hear he was in Liverpool. I’ve spoken with Bill Kenwright several times and it’s remained private between us.
“He’s very much part of my plans. At no time have I said he wasn’t. He’s got a four-year contract that he signed six months ago. We just want to get the window out of the way and improve the squad, then we’ll do business with him.
“I’m disappointed that he would come out and do that [request to leave the club] because he’s given me a decision over whether he should play or not. I need to see exactly where his mind is. We need him.”
Sky Sports claimed on their website that the 27-year-old defender was in Everton on Tuesday for talks over a move to Toffees.
It is said by the broadcaster that Everton submitted an £18million bid for Kone more than a week ago and that discussions were being made for the centre-back to complete a move to Goodison Park, although a deal could not be thrashed out by the various parties.
Everton, who have already signed Wales skipper Ashley Williams from Swansea this week, are not the only admirers of the former Lorient player, with Chelsea also reportedly among the potential suitors monitoring the situation.
The Paris-born defender’s future at Sunderland started to look in doubt after Sam Allardyce’s exit from the club.
It is understood that the now England boss promised Kone a new contract if the Wearside club remained in the Premier league.
Kone has four-years left on his current Sunderland contract and he starred in 15 games last season after joining in January ensuring they escaped from the clutches of relegation at the expense of their rivals Newcastle.
Ronald Koeman is still looking to to his squad after the club announced the signing of Williams from Swansea on Wednesday and Sky Sports revealed on Tuesday evening that the Merseysiders had settled a stunning £30million deal for winger Bolasie.
In other Everton transfer news, they receive a big blow after another defensive target dropped a transfer hint on Instagram.