Southampton have slapped a £15 million price tag on their frustrated captain Jose Fonte in order to scare away Manchester United from taking advantage of his latest contract dispute at St Mary’s, according to Daily Mail.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who has the same agent – Jorge Mendes – as the experienced Portuguese defender, failed to sign Fonte in the summer window, but is still looking forward to bringing the experienced center-back to Old Trafford.
Mourinho is considering every option to make the Southampton man his first January signing, according to latest reports. Mourinho’s allies are believed to have informed him that Fonte could be prized away in January for as little as £5m.
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The Portuguese Euro 2016 winner is also not happy at being left out of the Saints’ European campaign, especially after “having worked really hard” last season to help them qualify for Europa League.
Reports have been circulating for some time about the Portugal international being a top priority target for United, and as we are edge closer to the January transfer window, these rumours have only intensified.
The 32-year-old has 18 months left on his current contract at St Mary’s, after he recently rejected a pay rise offered to him after returning from a successful Euro 2016 campaign.
Fonte reportedly revealed that he was offered a wage increase instead of a new contract extension, and that stumbling block could now see him looking for a move away next month.
Southampton have seen plenty of players move away to join a fellow Premier League club, with the likes of Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Luke Shaw all leaving for big fees.
Fonte is the latest player to be linked with a move away, and the defender himself is said to be interested in a move to Old Trafford.