Sunderland poised for another summer transfer saga with Lamine Kone set to return from Strasbourg
Last month reports in France claimed the defender would be returning, with Strasbourg unlikely to take up the option to buy clause they have on the defender, currently out on loan.
There are now fresh reports in Ivory Coast that Kone will be coming back - despite the Ligue 1 side being keen to retain his services - as they 'simply cannot afford' his wages.
Sunderland owner Stewart Donald, speaking on the Roker Rapport podcast, revealed last month he thought it was 'likely' Kone would remain with Strasbourg but admitted even if that didn't happen then it was still highly likely he'd be moving on this summer.
Donald said he'd be 'amazed' to see Kone in a Sunderland shirt again.
Speaking earlier this month, Donald said: "The club he's at have got an option which they can exercise if they want to keep him for a fee, we believe that is likely.
"If that doesn't happen based on what we're being told and how we feel, I think he'll find another club, I'd be amazed if you see Lamine back here in a Sunderland shirt.
"To be fair to him he came here, he trained and he was honourable, I've got no issue with him.
"I think just with his stage of life he wants to go back and play in France."