Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho wants to add a defensive leader to his team before the end of the summer transfer window. Southampton’s Jose Fonte is the perfect option, which the United manager has identified after scouring the transfer market looking for experience at the back.
The 32-year-old Fonte looks like the most realistic option who could solve Mourinho’s leadership issues at defense. Manchester United will be making an official bid for The Saints center-back this week, as reported by ESPN.
The Red Devils hierarchy did speak about a potential transfer move of Leonardo Bonucci with Juventus while finalizing the Paul Pogba deal. But, the length of the discussions proved to be too much for United and they decided to pull away from the negotiation. Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane also chose not to make a move to Old Trafford, thus making Fonte the best available option.
The Portugal international also had a very good Euro 2016, thus proving his credibility of playing well at a bigger stage as well. The man from Penafiel, Portugal has been rock-solid in defense for Southampton and is also known to make his defensive partner better, which is something that Mourinho wants to acquire.
Aside from adding experience to his defense, Mourinho knows that Eric Bailly will be leaving to represent his nation, Ivory Coast in the African Nations Cup in January. Hence, Fonte will act as a brilliant cover for the former Villareal man as well.
Southampton are looking for a fee of $10.32 million for the defender and should United pay it, they will not stand in the player’s way. Mourinho has been told that he will have to let go of some players before the club will sanction another signing.
Paddy McNair and Donald Love have already been sold to Sunderland for $7.1 million with a few more players like Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian tipped to leave the club in near future.
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