West Ham are front runners in the race to sign Sunderland defender Lamine Kone this summer.

The Black Cats’ defender is valued at £15million but it is understood the Hammers are aiming to agree on a fee of around £10million. Sunderland look set to take a huge hit on the 28-year-old, as it was reported Everton were willing to pay up to £18million for Kone last summer.

The Mirror claim that West Ham are leading the race for the Ivory Coast international, with West Brom reportedly in contention. Tony Pulis’ side are said to have refused to pay Liverpool’s asking price for Mamadou Sakho, and hence, are seeking other options.

Kone had a rather uninspiring season with relegated Sunderland but shone through, displaying his defensive qualities.

Bilic is undoubtedly looking for a player to steady the backline at the London Stadium, as defensive mishaps were part of their largely disappointing 2016/17 campaign.