Sunderland manager David Moyes says unsettled defender Lamine Kone will be offered a new contract, but only after the transfer window closes.
The Ivory Coast international reportedly announced his intention to leave the Stadium of Light on Thursday, claiming the club had not fulfilled a promise to offer an improvement to the deal he signed upon joining in January, which expires in June 2020.
However, Moyes dismissed that notion, insisting centre-back Kone – believed to be a target for Everton as they seek to replace John Stones – remains an important part of the squad, offering an assurance negotiations can be finalised next month.
“We’ve told Lamine Kone he will be offered a new contract in September,” he told a pre-match news conference ahead of Sunderland’s trip to Manchester City on Saturday.
“Lamine is very much part of my plans. We will renew his contract on September 1.
“Lamine is a big part of the team, the fans like him and we need him.”
Kone has been strongly linked with a move to Goodison Park, having impressed in the second half of last season following his arrival from Lorient.
He played 15 times for Sunderland in the league, scoring twice in a win against Everton in May that secured top-flight survival under Sam Allardyce, who left to take up the England job last month.