By Aramide Oladipo
West Ham are interested in signing Sunderland defender Lamine Kone during the summer transfer window, according to a report.
The Mirror claim on the live transfer blog on their website (Friday, 10:36) that the Hammers are prepared to make the 28-year-old their fifth new arrival of the summer.
The newspaper claims that the Championship side are looking to receive around £20million for the defender.
Kone’s club teammate Darren Gibson recently publicly criticised the defender, saying he didn’t want to play for Sunderland any more, and the report claims that West Ham are confident that they can exploit this in order to negotiate a much cheaper deal.
The East London club are likely to face stiff competition for the Ivorian’s signature as fellow Premier League sides Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Burnley are all reportedly keen on the central defender.
Kone is a player with experience playing at the top level, making over 200 top flight appearances throughout his career and featuring for the Ivory Coast national team on nine occasions.
The defender’s current contract at the Stadium of Light runs out in 2021.
Football Insider verdict
Is Kone the sort of player who can help take West Ham to the next level and secure European qualification? He didn’t enjoy a great campaign with Sunderland last season and the fact that he has been publicly called out by one of his fellow teammates is not a great sign. However, the Hammers’ pursuit is in line with what they have been doing all summer and that is bringing in experienced players who have Premier League pedigree. Kone surely cannot be considered as good as the other central defenders in the squad such as James Collins and Winston Reid and splashing out £20million for him would be a lot of money even in this transfer market.
In other West Ham news, this midfielder signs a new three-year-deal at the club.