Sunderland boss David Moyes says he expects star defender Lamine Kone to stay at the club despite links to Everton and Chelsea.
This comes after reports that the Toffees had an £18million bid for the Ivorian rejected last week, with Sky Sports stating that the 27-year-old had requested to leave the club.
Moyes stated that Kone was ‘surprised’ when he read the player his own statement, and that he is very happy at the club.
“I am quite relaxed about it, to be fair. I have said we received an offer from Everton but also said we will give him a contract on September 1.
“Me and [chief executive] Martin Bain are just into the job, we are trying to add to the squad, the player has got a four year contract and has only been here six months. I don’t think it is outrageous to ask him to wait a couple of weeks just so we can concentrate on what we are trying to do right now.
“Things have been said that didn’t need to be. I have had private conversations with Bill Kenwright and they are private.
Kone featured in Sunderland’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in their Premier League opener on Saturday evening, and Moyes says a new contract will be offered on September 1.
“The boy is very happy, he was surprised when I read him his statement,” added Moyes.
“The big thing is, we are short of players, whether it be centre-halves or midfield players or full-backs, we are short. I won’t be letting anybody go who I think can contribute to the team. Kone is a big contribution to the team.
“If I think I can do things in other ways, I will think about it, but, at the moment, the market has made it really difficult to do that.
“Nobody will go until we say so. It will only be on our say so. If he stays, then we will honour what was said to him and give him a new contract.”