Much has been written and said about inflated transfer fees this summer. The valuation of a player is difficult to pinpoint, particularly with every Premier League club being held to ransom due to the huge increase in revenue. Everton, should they be determined to land Kone, must be prepared to pay well over the odds for a defender we shelled out just £6 million for just six months ago. That is not all to do with the new television deal, or the expected huge sum Everton are set to receive from Manchester City for John Stones.
Sunderland's squad is threadbare already. The sale of Kone would leave just two recognised, senior centre backs - the aging John O'Shea and the injury prone Younes Kaboul. With the Premier League set to kick off in eleven days time, it is not a position Sunderland would be prepared to put themselves in if the financial benefit was not to be pretty handsome. How handsome I could only speculate, but considering how much decent players are going for this season £18 million is unlikely to convince Moyes. The reports today that Sunderland have moved to offer Kone a bumper pay increase underline the club's intent to hang onto their best defender. That alone highlights to any potential buyer that they will have to pay big if they want to snap up Kone, a player who is already contracted up to 2020.
The former Lorient man has also earned the affections of the Sunderland supporters and has arguably done more than any other player in promoting the refreshing engagement between players and fans. His exit would not go down well on Wearside.
Moyes too has spoken out on his position regarding Sunderland's best players, confirming that - for now at least - he will be hanging on to them;
“I’m always going to keep the best players, but I’m also going to move the club along. At different times things will have to change."
Kone is apparently keen on the move and whilst no source or quote or anything reliable is available to back that claim up, it would be understandable given the Premier League fortunes of the two teams.
Despite that, it does look an unlikely transfer. However, if we do sell Kone, it would be fair to assume we will have received a sizeable boost to our transfer warchest.