Ronald Koeman wants to add another defender his squad and reportedly agreed a fee in the region of £18m with Sunderland for Kone earlier this month.
Kone then seemingly tried to force through the move by handing in a transfer request, citing broken promises over a new contract.
Sunderland boss David Moyes responded by reiterating his desire to keep Kone in the north-east and was ready to offer him a new deal on September 1.
The Scot has since revealed he made the contract offer early but Kone has turned it down, seemingly clearing the path to Goodison Park.
David Moyes says Lamine Kone has refused a new, improved deal at Sunderland and "arrived in this morning with a bad back."— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 19, 2016
Moyes says he made Kone the new contract offer earlier than Sept 1 to give him the security he's asked for, but he doesn't want it.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 19, 2016
Moyes: "We hope he (Kone) sees we want him to be here. We have that offer from Everton (for him) and he knows that as well."— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 19, 2016
Everton may now step up their efforts to sign Ivory Coast defender Kone, who cost Sunderland just £5m from Lorient in January.
It will also be interesting to see how Moyes responds to Everton’s interest given how he behaved when trying to sign Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines while Man Utd boss in the summer of 2013.
Back then Moyes said he would have let both players leave had he still been in charge at Everton “for the good of their careers”.
Will he now apply the same logic?