By Dominic Toner
West Ham are interested in signing Sunderland defender Lamine Kane, according to a report.
The Daily Mirror claim that the Hammers are preparing a fresh move for the 28-year-old after targeting him in the last two transfer windows.
It is understood that the Londoners and Everton tried to sign the centre-back last summer, while Slaven Bilic’s side were also keen in January.
The report details that West Ham will make reinforcing their defence a summer priority, with a consistent striker also on their shopping list.
The Daily Mirror report that Manchester City’s full-back duo Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna are also being considered as the defensive restructure is planned.
Kone has endured a frustrating season with Sunderland as his side sit 10 points adrift of safety and look destined for the Championship.
The powerful defender has made 26 appearances this campaign for the Black Cats and has been unable to inspire a serious relegation fight.
However, Kone is credited with playing a major role in Sunderland’s survival last season after making a colossal impact following his arrival in January 2016.
Football Insider verdict:
West Ham currently sit just eight points above the relegation places and will need to undergo a busy window if they are to compete at the top-end of the table. A new centre-back appears to be a priority and a move for Sunderland ace Kone could be a smart one. The 28-year-old has proven he can be a beast in the Premier League by keeping Sunderland in the top flight last season, but has been unable to repeat his heroics this campaign. However, he is still a very talented defender and could become a favourite at the London Stadium. Kone is an Ivory Coast international and is blessed with good pace, while also being physically commanding in the air. A potential Kone/Fonte or Kone/Reid combination is an exciting one that could help bolster the Hammers backline next season. West Ham fans may feel that signing a player from the league’s bottom side is a risky one, but Kone is certainly good enough to be in England’s top flight.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club’s midfielder has revealed talks with a Serie A club.