After Sunderland were relegated from the Championship to the third division of English football last season, Lamine Kone felt he was “worth more” than playing in the League One.

Last summer, the Black Cats allowed the centre-back to join Strasbourg on a season-long loan deal and the Ligue 1 club had the option to make the 30-year-old’s transfer permanent at the end of this campaign.

The Ivory Coast international has 26 appearances to his name in all competitions and has scored two goals in the process.

Even though Kone has played over 1800 minutes in the league, today’s edition of French newspaper L’Equipe claims that Strasbourg will not exercise the option to make the player’s temporary deal permanent in the summer and Kone is ‘expected to return to Sunderland’.

This will come as a blow for Kone as he will have to return to his parent club, with whom he has a contract until 2021.

Sunderland are in contention to be promoted to the Championship and should they achieve it, it should be seen if Kone will play with the English club play next season in the second division.