By Alex Stevens
Sunderland manager David Moyes has rejected Everton’s bid for Lamine Kone and insists the defender is going nowhere this summer.
Kone, who was forced to miss the Black Cats’ home defeat to Middlesbrough last Sunday due to a back injury, has turned down an offer of a new contract at the Stadium of Light.
But Moyes insists he has no intention of selling the defender, 27, due to the difficulty of finding a replacement before the transfer window cut-off on 31 August.
Moyes revealed last Friday that Kone had rejected a new contract offer, which is reportedly worth £50,000-a-week, after Everton tabled an initial bid. The Sun reported last Saturday that Everton were to bid £18million bid for the centre-back.
“Kone will stay,” Moyes said, as quoted by the Sky Sports transfer centre blog on Wednesday (1.58pm). “The offer’s been rejected by me, yes. I’ve had that offer for a while now and I could have invested the money two weeks ago but doing that is very difficult.”
The north east club appear to be confident in fending off interest from the Merseysiders, who have been pursuing Kone after being impressed by his displays in the centre of defence since his January move from French club Lorient.
The Toffees are keen to sign another centre-back after allowing John Stones to leave Goodison Park and join Manchester City in a £47.5million deal.
They have brought in Swansea captain Ashley Williams, but manager Ronald Koeman is keen for more depth at the heart of his defence.
Kone signed for the Black Cats in January following an impressive stint in France’s top tier, and impressed during Sunderland’s fight against relegation with his resolute displays at the club.
In other Everton transfer news, Hull have opened talks with the Toffees over a loan deal for Oumar Niasse.