Sunderland has rejected an approach from Everton for Ivory Coast international’s Lamine Koné.

Black Cats boss David Moyes who recently replaced Sam Allardyce as manager is desperate to hang on to the imposing defender who was instrumental to the team’s survival from relegation last season.

Koné arrived in Sunderland from French side Lorient in the January 2016 transfer window and played 15 games, netting twice. Speaking about Everton’s approach for Koné, Moyes stated that ‘Given the prices, it would be very difficult to replace Lamine. Unless we could get a suitable replacement, I would never do the deal.’

Kone strikes Sunderland's second goal against Everton during 2015/2016 Barclays Premier League match. © Getty.

Sunderland has lost its opening two games of the new season, including a 2-1 at home defeat to newly promoted Hull City. The team is likely to once again be fighting for its Premier League survival, and Moyes will not want to lose one of his best defenders, given that another defender Younès Kaboul was recently sold to Watford.

With a week to go until the transfer window shuts, will Sunderland be able to retain Koné’s services, given that the player himself has expressed an interest in joining the Merseyside club?