Everton have made an improved £18million bid for Sunderland defender Lamine Kone as they prepare for life without John Stones.
Stones has been repeatedly and consistently linked with making a £50million move to Manchester City this summer, despite talks between the clubs seemingly being at a stalemate.
However Ronald Koeman is preparing for life without the England centre-back and have lodged an improved £18million bid for Senegalese defender, who has been spotted in Liverpool with an Everton fan as he discusses a transfer to Goodison Park.
Should a move be completed, Kone could be partnered alongside current Swansea City captain Ashley Williams, who is also subject to interest from Everton, despite having a £10million bid for his services rejected. The Blues are expected to also up that offer, which could put doubts over the future of Everton captain Phil Jagielka.