Sunderland continue talks over Lamine Kone deal, despite Lorient return

Lamine KoneLamine Kone
Lamine Kone
Sunderland's interest in Lamine Kone remains alive, despite the defender resuming his career at Lorient.

Kone trained with Lorient yesterday and is expected to start today's Ligue 1 clash against Monaco, even though the French club remain in talks with Sunderland over the centre-half.

Lorient have publicly confirmed that they continue to negotiate with Sunderland, despite the move breaking down in bitter fashion earlier this month when a problem emerged during the discussions over personal terms.

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There has been talk in France about Kone now joining Sunderland in a loan move, with a view to a permanent switch next summer, rather than the £5million deal which was originally conceived.

That could appeal to Kone, with the 26-year-old understood to have expressed doubts over the switch.

But after Jan Kirchhoff's miserable debut at Spurs on Saturday, Sunderland arguably remain in need of central defensive reinforcements.

Sam Allardyce is clearly also looking for attacking recruits after Sunderland made a surprise enquiry for Swansea winger Andre Ayew, who netted against the Black Cats last week.

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Ayew - who shares the same agent as Kone - is understood to be a genuine target for Allardyce after reports emerged late last week that the Ghanaian international was on Sunderland's radar.

The 26-year-old - who joined Swansea on a Bosman from Marseille last summer - has impressed in his maiden campaign of Premier League football with seven goals in 20 appearances for the struggling Swans.

But Sunderland face a huge challenge to persuade Swansea to sell, with the Welsh club privately claiming there is no prospect of Ayew leaving the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea are struggling to bring in one new frontman this month, let alone bringing in two.

And after selling Jonjo Shelvey to Newcastle this week, Swansea are under no pressure to cash-in on one of their prize assets, despite Ayew being on a big-money deal at the club.