Arouna Kone has sparked a potential transfer battle between Liverpool and Everton by announcing that he intends to quit relegated FA Cup winners Wigan this summer, reports The Sun.
The Ivory Coast hitman impressed during his first season in England by helping the Latics win their first FA Cup, but was unable to prevent their relegation to the Championship despite hitting 13 goals along the way.
Reports have said that Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton, who are now managed by Kone’s former Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, were both keen on the man signed for £3.5m from Levante last year.
Kone, now valued at around £10m, would present a healthy profit on that basis alone for the club, but has stated in no uncertain terms that he does not intend to feature in the Championship next season.
He said: “You always have ambitions as a footballer, and I don’t intend to play in the English second division.
“Wigan have gone down, which is a real shame. It’s up to them to set out their stance about my situation. I aim to play for one of the best clubs in England, and I hope I will get the chance.”
Newly promoted Premier League outfit Crystal Palace are also thought to be interested in hijacking any potential move to Merseyside with a bid of their own, hoping that the bright lights of London could tempt Kone down south.
Kone continued: “I’ve had plenty of approaches. I can’t reveal the names of the clubs.
“But Crystal Palace have gone up, and from the moment a club is in the Premier League that is good for me.
“I’m under contract with Wigan for two more years. But if there is an offer that is good for both me and Wigan I will seek to leave.”
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