By Harvey Byrne
Sunderland manager David Moyes has revealed that Lamine Kone had nothing to do with a statement saying he wanted to leave the club after a bid from Everton.
On Thursday evening Sky reporter Keith Downie tweeted a statement from the centre-back in which he asked to leave Sunderland.
However, Moyes has denied that the 27-year-old defender was involved in the statement, but he has confirmed he told the Ivory Coast international an offer was made from Everton.
“Strangely enough, when I told the boy yesterday, he didn’t know anything about his statement,” said Moyes, as quoted by the Sky transfer centre blog at 9.22pm on Saturday. “He didn’t know much about it at all.
“But, it was said and his name was put to it. The boy was great though. He was great today, he was great yesterday.
“We’ve told him that on September 1 we will look to do a contract, if that was what he was promised, and we also told him we have had an offer from Everton as well. We’ve not hidden anything.”
This revelation follows claims from the Sun that terms for Kone were expected to be concluded next week.
The Paris-born defender was promised by former boss Sam Allardyce that if he kept the Black Cats up, then he would receive a pay rise on his deal, which still has four-years left to run.
It looked as though the centre-back was aggrieved at not receiving a contract offer after Moyes took over the club, but the Scottish manager has said that he will open talks once the transfer window slams shut.
Kone played the full 90 minutes for Sunderland as they suffered a 2-1 loss against Manchester City on Saturday.
Ronald Koeman is eager to add some reinforcements to his side after John Stones left for the Etihad club in a £47.5million deal.
The Dutch manager has already added Ashley Williams from Swansea to bolster his defence, but he is still reportedly keen to add to his defence with senior duo Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori his only other two options.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are close to sealing three new signings.