Kone could now be lured to St James’ Park instead.
Everton could miss out on Wigan Athletic target Arouna Kone, despite new manager Roberto Martinez’s relationship with the striker, as Newcastle United place a £5m bid according to talkSPORT.
A deal for Kone to make the switch from the DW Stadium to Merseyside seemed as good as done as Latics boss Owen Coyle admitted that as far as he was concerned, the Ivorian wanted to join the Toffees.
Yet with Newcastle tabling a bid at the 11th hour – which activate’s the 29-year-old’s release clause – they have become the favourites and are now free to talk to the forward and tie up a deal.
It would be a blow to Martinez who knows Kone well having managed the Ivory Coast international at Wigan last season, before the Spaniard departed the club to succeed David Moyes at Goodison Park.
It was an impressive debut campaign under the 39-year-old in England, with the striker scoring 11 goals and providing five assist in what was a disappointing term for the Lancashire side, as they were relegated to the Championship.
Kone was also instrumental on the Latics’ run to an unlikely FA Cup triumph over Manchester City, scoring twice in the run-up to the Wembley showdown that Martinez’s side won 1-0.
This has made the forward a desirable target for a fairly modest price for several clubs, with Newcastle wanting to strengthen their strike-force following the sale of Demba Ba to Chelsea in January and the strong possibility of also losing Papiss Cisse this summer.