It appears Lamine Koné has now spoken of his transfer collapse to French paper Quest-France. As we know the Lorient defender was due to sign for the Black Cats but the deal broke down during the final stages of contract negotiations. However according to reports in France Koné has had this to say on the matter:
"I can't say that I won't move over to England in this window. The demands I made and the demands Sunderland made differed. The deal is closed for the moment, but I don't know if they'll come back in for me or not. For now, I am under contract until 2017. Nothing has been signed with Sunderland. Officially I am still Lorient. I'll get back into training. If I have to play, I'll play. There are still three weeks of the transfer window, everything is possible if there are clubs that are still pursuing me. Why not? Now there was a first deal not made with Sunderland. This is football. These are things that are growing. It's like that. It's not just Sunderland. There are other clubs. There are some proposals. But they are not official."
More interestingly his agent has also apparently chimed in with some new information:
"We had two similar offers. A Sunderland and the other Norwich. But we opted for Sunderland because it was the most interested club and most in need of a defender. But once there, it went wrong. Sunderland has offered 6.5 million euros to Lorient and a contract of 4 and a half years to Lamine. The player started part of the medical examination. But there has been a disagreement in the contract clauses. The transfer window is still long. Lamine Kone still has time to realize his dream."
It's also emerged that Lorient vice president Alex Hayes is looking at whether there is any legal recourse which can be pursued by the French club given they feel so aggrieved by the transfer collapse.
Whether bringing negations to a close is all brinkmanship on the part of Sunderland, in the hope that the player reduces his contract demands, or the deal is genuinely dead in the water remains to be seen but either way these latest quotes suggest that the player is still extremely keen on a move to the Premier League and it will no doubt put a few other teams around us on alert.