Ronald Koeman has been handed a boost in the transfer market after Lamine Kone revealed he wants to leave Sunderland.
Koeman is leading the chase for his signature and Kone is understood to have travelled to Merseyside earlier this week with a view to pushing through an £18million move to Goodison Park.
However, he returned to Wearside for training on Wednesday, with no deal in place, and now appears to be attempting to force the club’s hand.
The Black Cats had announced the double capture of Manchester United youngsters Paddy McNair and Donald Love, both defenders, on Thursday and that was seen by many as a move to cover themselves in the event of Kone’s departure.
It is understood Everton, who have already signed Wales skipper Ashley Williams from Swansea this week, are not the only admirers of the former Lorient player, with Chelsea among the potential suitors monitoring the situation.
With the season about to start, Koeman has not yet got his final squad in place and he is expected to be busy right up to the closure of the transfer window.