English Premier League (EPL) club Southampton defender, Jose Fonte is linked with a summer transfer move to two of the league’s giants, Manchester United and Arsenal. While the Portugal international has expressed his desire of joining the Red Devils, the Gunners have also made a late approach for the player.
Arsenal has lost their two starting center-backs, Per Mertersacker and Gabriel Paulista to long-term injuries. After suffering a humbling 4-3 defeat at home against Liverpool, manager Arsene Wenger wants to add another stable stalwart at the back, as reported by ESPN.
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Wenger is also looking at Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi, but recent sources reveal that the Frenchman is not willing to meet the Spanish club’s valuation of $39million for the player. Southampton’s Fonte is considered as a more realistic option, even though Manchester United is extremely interested in signing the player. The 32-year-old is presently valued at $13 million by his club.
It is being reported that the 20-time Premier League champions are willing to use Marcos Rojo as a part of an exchange deal to sign Fonte. Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has been told that he needs to sell some players in order to bring in more new faces, and including the Argentine in the deal serves two purposes, as reported by Alex Crook of the Sun.
Mourinho did sign defender Erick Bailly from Villarreal this summer, but the Ivory Coast international will be unavailable as he will participate in the African Nations Cup for his country in January, 2017. This is where Fonte could be a brilliant addition along with his years of Premier League experience.
Here is a statistical comparison provided by Squawka.com between Fonte and Rojo for the 2015/16 season.
Jose Fonte is an integral part of the Southampton setup. But, with Rojo (26-year-old) holding an age advantage, The Saints could be interested in doing a deal.