Kone has seen his form improve this season.

Kone has seen his form improve this season.

West Ham United look to make Sunderland defender Lamine Kone their January priority, after a shaky start to the season.

Kone reportedly has a £18 million release clause, which West Ham appear keen to cash in on.

The Sun claim that West Ham, who have the second worst goal difference in the league, are willing to stump up the £18m necessary to land the Ivorian international.

However, Everton did make a move on Kone during the summer to no avail so it will be interesting to see whether a slightly larger bid from West Ham will make Sunderland rethink their stance on Kone.

Sunderland fans will certainly want Kone to stay put given their recent revival in the league. Losing an influential player, and more concerning a defensive main stay, would give Sunderland a huge dilemma in the January transfer window.

And given Sunderland’s recent battles with relegation, a disadvantage they can ill afford to give to their relegation rivals in the run up to the end of the season.