Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Are Hopeful on Kone Contract; Kone on Verge of Signing New Deal

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Are Hopeful on Kone Contract; Kone on Verge of Signing New Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner @StuRayner

SUNDERLAND are hopeful Lamine Kone will sign a new contract shortly, but even so manager David Moyes knows he will have to be busy again in the January transfer window.

Had Everton manager Ronald Koeman had his way, Kone would have been lining up against the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light on Monday.

When Kone handed in a transfer request in August it looked like he might try to engineer a transfer, but the 27-year-old is happy to stay and should soon prove as much by putting pen to paper on a new contract.

David Moyes teams are built on a solid defence, and his latest will be founded on a central defensive partnership of Kone and Papy Djilobodji. It is an exciting prospect but does mean the former Everton manager will need another centre-half in January.

"I've had nothing but smiles," Moyes said when asked about Kone's mood. "It's always difficult. I've seen it a little bit before. I know what happens, once the window shuts, it changes everything.

"I hope he will have signed a new contract shortly. There have been plenty of discussions. I think there are some already pencilled in for next week some time.

"He's still got four years left on his contract, so it's not as if we are scraping around because we are short of time."

Kone was a revelation in the second half of last season after joining from Lorient in January, and former centre-back Moyes is looking forward to improving him. "I wanted Kone to stay all Turn to Page 77 FROM BACK PAGE the time," he reiterated. "On the journey, as you are improving, you will lose players. It happens. While you are a club like this, your better players will be tapped and approached by the bigger clubs.

"Sometimes it will be right to say, 'Fine, we need to take the money because we need to reinvest and go again.' But because of the shortness of the window, because of the lack of the availability, I couldn't let Kone go. He was too important to us. …

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