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Published: 22:03 | 28/1/16

Lamine Kone joins Sunderland

Sebastian Coates is set to join Sporting Lisbon until the end of the season following Sunderland's signing of Ivorian defender Lamine Kone.

The Blacks Cats completed the signing of the French-born centre-back for a reported £5m fee, following weeks of on-off-and-then-on-again negotiations with FC Lorient and the player himself.

The 25-year-old was set to sign for Sunderland at the start of January but returned to France earlier this month following a medical at the Academy of Light after failing to agree personal terms.

Kone, who represented France at youth level before making his full international debut for the Ivory Coast in 2014, has now signed a four-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light.

“Strengthening our defensive options was a priority for us and Lamine is a player that has impressed me when I’ve seen him play," manager Sam Allardyce said.

"He is big and strong, attributes you need to play in central defence in the Premier League, and his arrival will give us healthy competition for places in a key position."

Allardyce is under strict orders from owner Ellis Short to balance his budget, so Uruguayan defender Coates is likely to join Sporting Lisbon until the end of the season with a £5m option for a permanent deal.

Coates joined Sunderland in a £2million deal from Liverpool last summer after a loan spell at the Stadium of Light where he helped keep the Black Cats in the Premier League.

However, the 25-year-old hasn't started a Premier League game in 2016, with Allardyce turning to veteran Wes Brown instead.

Coates will be the sixth senior player to leave in the January transfer window, following the departures of Mavrias, Will Buckley, Liam Bridcutt, Danny Graham and Costel Pantilimon.

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