Lamine Kone: Sunderland sign Ivory Coast defender

New Sunderland signing Lamine Kone
Lamine Kone (left) represented France up to Under-20 level before playing for Ivory Coast

Sunderland have signed Ivory Coast defender Lamine Kone from French side Lorient for an undisclosed fee.

The France-born 26-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League strugglers.

"He is big and strong, attributes you need to play in central defence in the Premier League," Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce told the club's website.

The Black Cats have also signed keeper Steve Harper, striker Dame N'Doye and defender Jan Kirchhoff in January.

Allardyce announced on 8 January that attempts to sign Kone had "broken down".

But with the deal now completed, Allardyce said: "Strengthening our defensive options was a priority for us and Lamine is a player that has impressed me when I've seen him play.

"His arrival will give us healthy competition for places in a key position."

Sunderland are 19th in the league, four points from safety with 15 games remaining. Their next league game is at home to second-placed Manchester City on 2 February.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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