Centre-half Lamine Kone has asked to leave Sunderland just hours before the start of the new Premier League season.
The Ivory Coast star wants a move away from the Stadium of Light following talks with manager David Moyes and chief executive Martin Bain on Thursday, saying that an expected improved contract offer had failed to materialise.
In a statement, the 27-year-old said: “After a week in which there has been a vast amount of speculation with regard to my future at Sunderland Football Club, I think that it is only fair to the fans of the club to clarify the situation.
“At the end of last season, I was told by the club that I would be offered a new contract. Following numerous phone conversations and face-to-face meetings, the latest of which took place today with David Moyes and Martin Bain, no contract has been forthcoming.
“It is therefore with much regret that I can only assume that I do not figure in David Moyes’ future plans.
“With that being the case, it is with much sadness that I have asked the manager and the chief executive to be allowed to leave Sunderland Football Club.
“However, until that time, I give my word that I will give my utmost in training and on the field.”
Everton are ready to pay around £18m for his services but Moyes wants Phil Jagielka as part of the deal.
So far the two clubs have not come to an agreement but, as the season is about to start, that is about to change.