​West Ham are leading the race for the signature of Sunderland defender Lamine Kone. The Hammers are believed to be one of only a few Premier League clubs interested in the 28-year-old, but it is suggested the Black Cats' asking price of £15m may prove to be problematic.

A number of players are expected to leave the Stadium of Light this summer following Sunderlands's relegation from the Premier League, with the club looking to rebuild their squad and make an immediate return to the top-flight.

England Under-21 international Jordan Pickford was the first to depart from Sunderland this week after completing his £30m move to Everton - the fee was a British record for a goalkeeper and the ​Chronicle Live report that Kone could be next to leave.

Sunderland are commanding a significant fee for the Ivorian defender, given that he still has four years left on his current deal. Kone only signed a new deal last summer under former boss David Moyes, after the Black Cats rejected an £18m offer for him from Everton.

Kone previously handed in a transfer request before agreeing the new deal, but following his side's relegation to the Championship it is understood he is keen on leaving again. 

However, following a disappointing season from Sunderland and Kone personally, West Ham consider the defender to be overpriced at £15m and would be more inclined to do business if a deal could be agreed around the region of £10m.

Kone signed from French side Lorient in January 2016 under Moyes' predecessor Sam Allardyce.