Sunderland manager David Moyes has told Everton that he will not be selling center back Lamine Kone this summer.
Despite Everton making an increased bid of £21m, Moyes is reported as saying that he will hold on to the defender with little time left in the transfer window to invest those funds. The Scotsman had already turned down a previous bid.
The former Toffees manager told the player to stay away on Saturday for the game against Middlesbrough after Kone withdrew from training with a back injury. The defender is due in at the training ground today for assessment by the club’s medical staff.
Moyes had previously said that the player had not asked for a transfer and he would not be offering Kone a new contract until September 1st when the window closed, but since then redacted that statement and proposed a revised contract which was promptly rejected by the player.
SBN Sunderland blog Roker Report have done a great job capturing the Kone-Moyes saga, especially in their latest story of the mindgames being played by both sides.
During his tenure at Everton, Moyes was famous for his stubbornness in refusing to sell players, yet when he did cave in he would often say that he will not stand in the way of a player should he choose to leave.
Sunderland has already lost one central defender after they sold Younes Kaboul, and can ill-afford to sell cornerstone Kone. But after the poor start to the season with two losses, Moyes will be feeling the pressure to re-invest those funds in strengthening his squad for what he is expecting to be a relegation battle of a season.