Southampton boss, Claude Puel, claims that Jose Fonte isn’t disturbed by the speculation surrounding his future with the Saints amid new reports linking him with Arsenal and Manchester United although given the player’s focus on United, it seems he’s not interested in Arsenal (or they’re not interested in him).
Arsenal were linked with the centre-back just a few days ago, with Manchester United apparently not willing to pay the £9m Southampton were asking for. However, now there appears to have been a turn of events – at least in the media world – and Jose Mourinho has reportedly been given the green light to sign him.
Man United have given JM the green light to sign £8m Jose Fonte which will not require any outgoings. Fonte not first choice. #MUFC
— Man United News (@InsideMan_Utd) August 19, 2016
Of course, this is all via Twitter sources so take this with a shovel of salt.
Despite all this drama going on, the Saints’ manager, Puel, insists that the 32-year-old isn’t fazed by all the chatter.
“There is no problem with Jose, it is just strange that this rumour comes just before the game at United,” he said.
“There is a possibility that he may travel with us to Old Trafford.
“But he is a very good professional and he has played well in training sessions this week and it is important to have Jose with us, I hope, for the United game.
“Jose has good experience, so he cannot be disturbed by this rumour but I am just surprised to hear this before the game, two days before the match. But Jose is our captain and I’m sure he will be completely ready for this game.”
Fonte recently described the link with the Red Devils as ‘flattering’, although reeled off the line we all know too well ‘I currently have a contract with… blah blah blah’.
“If the interest is there, it is a reason to be flattered to be associated with a club like Manchester United,” he told Mais Futebol.
“But I have a contract with Southampton, and I’m just focused on my work, to make a great season. I will not deny that Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and that it makes me happy to be associated with it. But to be Manchester United’s player is a big difference.”
The link with Arsenal isn’t a strong one. The newer reports emerging appear to just be the same information that was fed to us days ago.
As we’ve said before, while it’s sensible to have a back-up plan should the deal for Shkodran Mustafi not work out, I don’t see this one ever happening.