Sunderland manager David Moyes has claimed Lamine Kone had nothing to do with a statement saying the Ivory Coast international wanted to leave the Black Cats.
The statement said the club had reneged on an offer of a new deal and that the midfielder wanted to leave. However, speaking after Sunderland’s 2-1 loss at Manchester City, Moyes said: “Strangely enough, when I told the boy yesterday, he didn’t know anything about his statement. He didn’t know much about it at all.
“But, it was said and his name was put to it. The boy was great though. He was great today, he was great yesterday. “We’ve told him that on September 1 we will look to do a contract, if that was what he was promised, and we also told him we have had an offer from Everton as well. We’ve not hidden anything.”
But he did start the 27-year-old at the Etihad, and Kone seemed completely unfazed by the off-the-field situation and delivered his usual solid performance alongside Younes Kaboul at the heart of defence.
Moyes added: “He played very well. He was strong, they [Kone and Kaboul] were in the right positions most of the time in the game.
“I was very pleased with him.”