The Hammers are reportedly interesting in activating the Sunderland centre-back’s £18 million release clause when the transfer window re-opens

Sunderland defender Lamine Kone is a January transfer target for West Ham United, according to The Mirror .

The Hammers are reportedly willing to trigger an £18 million release clause in the Ivorian’s contract as Slaven Bilic looks to strengthen his leaky defence.

Sam Allardyce signed centre-back Kone for £6 million from French club Lorient last January and the 29-year-old only signed a new five year contract in September. Chelsea have also been linked with a move for the player, who’s so far made 13 appearances for the Black Cats this season. 

Whichever club’s shirt Kone is wearing come 1st February, he’ll probably just be glad he’s still alive. In a recent interview with So Foot , the player revealed that he very nearly died five years ago while playing for French third division club LB Châteauroux when a car he was travelling in collided with a deer, throwing him and three other passengers out of the vehicle.

Kone suffered severe swelling of the brain and was put in an induced coma. Eventually he was discharged from hospital to recover at home but was unable to stand or walk for a further three weeks.

“This kind of incident makes you grow,” he told So Foot . “After such an event, you learn many things. You’re aware of having a second chance, so you give yourself thoroughly, and you want to live life to the full.”


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