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West Ham leading race for Sunderland defender

Lamine Kone news

West Ham close to Kone signing

West Ham United are reportedly confident of sealing a cut-price deal for defender Lamine Kone following Sunderland's relegation to the Championship.

The Ivory Coast international was in huge demand during the previous summer transfer window with Everton deemed to have failed with an £18m approach for his signature.

Kone therein inked a fresh five-year deal with the Wearside club with a view to making significant progress under then boss David Moyes.

The Black Cats have since reached a new low to drop into the Championship, and Kone is now on the cusp of leaving the Stadium of Light.

According to The Mirror, Slaven Bilic's side are confident of sealing a £10m move for the former Lorient man despite the Black Cats being firm on their £15m valuation.

The east London club have also been credited with an interest in Manchester United's Chris Smalling, but the England international comes at a far higher cost than Kone.

West Ham United will be hoping to fight for a European qualification place next term following a dismal first season at the London Stadium where they finished 11th overall.