Jamie Carragher has hit out at reported Manchester United and Chelsea target Lamine Kone – branding the Sunderland defender “lazy”.
Reports on Monday suggested United and Chelsea were among a number of teams preparing a bid for Kone in January.
The Ivory Coast international, who played a key role in helping Sunderland avoid relegation last season after joining in January, asked to leave the club amid interest from Everton in the summer, before signing a new deal at the Stadium of Light.
“I said this about Aston Villa last season but I think Aston Villa had more quality than this Sunderland team. I just think there was a real bad attitude going through that Aston Villa team,” Carragher said, speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
“I don’t see a bad attitude at Sunderland. I see a really poor group of players who would struggle in the Championship.
“But there’s one player whose attitude on the pitch this season has been nowhere near acceptable and I think that’s Kone at the back.
“I think he was a man mountain last season, him and Defoe. They virtually kept them up. But he’s nowhere near where he needs to be and he’s causing Sunderland no end of problems.
“(It was a) lazy performance against Arsenal. (He was) not interested in doing his job properly.”