By Will Butcher
Everton’s £18million move for Sunderland stopper Lamine Kone has been plunged into doubt after the Toffees rejected a deal that would see Phil Jagielka move the other way, according to a report.
ESPN claim Sunderland wanted Jagielka as part of a player-plus-cash deal that would take Ivory Coast international Kone to Merseyside.
But it is said that Everton have turned down the move from former Toffees manager David Moyes for Jagielka, who joined the club from Sheffield United back in 2007.
Mark McKay, Kone’s agent, has revealed there is no formal deal in place for the 27-year-old defender to join Ronald Koeman’s side.
“Lamine will train with Sunderland tomorrow morning and is available for selection for Saturday’s Premier League opener against Man City,” McKay, as quoted by Sky Sports’ transfer centre blog.
“In the meantime Lamine still awaits the offer of a new contract from the club.”
Manager Ronald Koeman is still in the market for a centre-back after completing the signing of Ashley Williams from Swansea earlier on Wednesday.
Jagielka, 33, has been a loyal part of Everton’s side as he enters his tenth season as a Toffee. He has clocked up 322 appearances for the Merseyside outfit, scoring 15 goals in the process but has less than two years remaining on his Goodison Park deal.
Everton’s centre-backs have been in high demand this summer despite their leaky campaign last-term which saw the Toffees concede the most goals out of the top 15 Premier League sides last season.
John Stones joined Manchester City for £47.5million on Tuesday in a deal that made him the second most expensive defender ever.
Argentinian centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori has also been interesting other sides, with European giants Roma said to be keeping tabs on the former River Plate defender according to Italian publication Gazzetta World.
Kone, who played for France’s youth team before opting to play for Ivory Coast, arrived at the Stadium of Light in January from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux and helped the Black Cats secure safety with 15 appearances and two goals.
In other Everton transfer news, this is how the Toffees could line-up ahead of their first Premier League game.