Sunderland have rejected an £18 million offer from Everton for centre-half Lamine Kone, according to The Mirror.

The Paris-born Ivory Coast international moved to the Wearside club in January and played an instrumental part in the Black Cats avoiding relegation and staying in the top flight in 2015-16.

Kone’s impressive performances in the North East have clearly drawn the attention of visiting scouts, with an ambitious Toffees outfit cash-rich and interested in the 27-year-old.

Ronald Koeman’s men have sold John Stones to Manchester City for a whopping £47.5 million and yesterday signed Ashley Williams from Swansea as a replacement.

However, it appears that the Merseysiders are not content and want to add another centre-half to Koeman’s squad this summer.

Kone is highly regarded at Sunderland and despite the acquisition of Papy Djilobodji, David Moyes is believed to be intent on keeping the former Lorient stalwart.

Given that the Stadium of Light side only paid around £5 million for the Ivorian at the start of the year, the club could well make a tidy profit on the star – but the fans will surely be keen for the powerful defender to stay on Wearside.

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