Former Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has stated that he turned down a chance to sign Sunderland defender Lamine Kone in January.
Kone joined Sunderland from Lorient during the January transfer window of last term for a fee of around £5 million and the defender arguably proved to be one of the signings of the season after playing a crucial role in helping the Black Cats avoid the drop.
As a result of his exploits, Kone has proven to be one of the most sought after defenders in the Premier League this summer and his value has shot up to a whopping £18 million in the space of just six months, with the likes of Everton and Chelsea said to be interested in his services.
Now former Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has gone on to speak regarding Kone and has admitted that the Magpies turned down the chance to sign the Ivory Coast international last season despite being offered to the club by agent Willy McKay.
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He told Sky Sports: “Willy McKay was his agent. I remember in January he came to us and said, ‘His move to Sunderland has not gone through he’s, he’s moved out, the move’s broke down twice, the player’s disillusioned and doesn’t know what to do. Will you take him? Will you take him on loan, even a free loan?’
“When we looked into it, it was just the wrong time really. It was coming to the end of the window and we had to make a quick decision and it couldn’t go through in time. Unfortunately for us he went to Sunderland and helped them stay up.”