By Harvey Byrne
West Ham are the favourites to bring in Sunderland centre-back Lamine Kone, according to a report.
The Mirror has claimed on their website that the Hammers are in pole position to land the 28-year-old defender, who the Black Cats are demanding around £15million for.
However, the east London club are said to believe that a deal could be agreed at around £10million to sign him.
It is also detailed that Kone himself wants to leave Sunderland following their relegation to the Championship, meaning he could force the Black Cats’ hand.
Top-flight rivals West Brom are also credited with interest as manager Tonly Pulis lines up potential replacements for Jonny Evans, who is being targeted by Leicester.
Kone joined Sunderland in January 2016 for an undisclosed fee from French side FC Lorient.
He also agreed to extend his deal at the Black Cats until 2021 just last September after being convinced by former manager David Moyes.
However, the nine-time capped Ivory Coast international will now be looking to make his way back into the top-flight and West Ham could be a possible destination.
Football Insider verdict:
Kone is a good defender, but he is certainly not a £15million one. The Ivory Coast international played in a Sunderland team which looked extremely poor last season with only Jordan Pickford and Jermain Defoe standing out from the team. Now, West Ham certainly need a new centre-back, but Kone could be a similar signing to January addition Jose Fonte and could ultimately prove underwhelming and not good enough for Slaven Bilic’s team. Therefore, West Ham may be better served looking elsewhere, especially when Sunderland are demanding the price that they are.
In other West Ham transfer news, the Hammers are closing in on this 21-year-old Spanish winger.