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Lamine Kone has confirmed that reports surrounding a promised new contract are true.
A video appeared on social media showing last season's WAW Player of the Season confirming the situation from his car. He also said "yes" when asked if he wanted to stay at Sunderland.
Whatever the result of this may be I must say his agent has played a blinder over the last few days. Everton's interest has been the catalyst behind Kone pushing for a deal he states he was promised and this interest has been used to full affect.
A clearly staged photograph of Kone with an Everton fan was leaked to the Daily Mail late on Monday evening. The photograph was from a Liverpool restaurant, at night, and the Everton fan was wearing last season's home strip. The fact he is wearing a football top on a night out in the middle of Liverpool and that the photo originated from the Daily Mail is proof enough for me to suggest the picture was staged.
This led to an uproar on Twitter and other forms of social media with many Sunderland fans expressing their anger at the possibility of one of their top players being sold to a Premier League rival. A petition was even started! Kone has done more than any other player when it comes to reconnecting the fans with the players and leaking this picture was always going to spark a big reaction from the fans.
Sunderland's silence has not helped the matter either and the slow progress of this transfer window has also played into Kone's hands.
Later that day, after deliberately causing the social media storm, the story regarding Kone's contract became evident and his agent spoke out on the matter clarifying that the contract matter is a major problem;
"Lamine Kone will be at training with Sunderland and is available, if selected, for Sunderland's game with Manchester City. However, he still awaits the offer of the new contract."
Then, of course, we have Kone speaking about the matter to fans. To top it all off, tentative links to Chelsea have also surfaced.
Kone and his agent have now forced Sunderland's hand. With an offer on the table from Everton for the player, the Black Cats have been backed into a corner and must decide whether to fork out more wage funds on Kone or sell him quickly to give David Moyes time to find a suitable replacement.
It is all a little unprofessional if you ask me. However, if this promised contract is true you can certainly appreciate Kone's position. We should not be surprised about all of this given how much of a circus his original transfer became after contract disagreements almost stopped the transfer altogether. Do not be surprised if the club do not react too kindly to being held to ransom.
Would you sell Kone in this positon? Vote below!