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05th Jan 2017

José Fonte transfer request gets Man United and Liverpool fans excited

Where will he end up?

Tom Victor

Southampton captain José Fonte has handed in a transfer request, prompting talk that he could move to Manchester United in the January transfer window.

The Portugal international, part of his country’s victorious Euro 2016 squad, has been linked with both Manchester United and Liverpool in recent months.

Fonte is a client of Jorge Mendes, who also represents United manager José Mourinho, while he remains good friends with Liverpool centre-back and former Southampton teammate Dejan Lovren.

The 33-year-old has been on Southampton’s books since 2010, joining the club when they were in League One, and has made more than 250 league appearances for them.

And the BBC quote Saints director of football Les Reed, who explained: “He’s made it very clear he would like to explore the opportunities for a transfer.”

“That’s where we are at the moment, José wants to leave the club. He’s formally asked for a transfer,” Reed added.

Fonte’s contract does not expire until the summer of 2018, but United and Liverpool fans are already getting excited about the prospect of adding the experienced centre-back to their ranks.

United could use cover while Eric Bailly is away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

But Liverpool have a tendency to raid the south coast for talented players, with the likes of Sadio Mané, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana and Lovren all making the move from Southampton to Merseyside of late.

The Lovren connection is particularly relevant, with a social media exchange between the former defensive partners all but convincing some Liverpool fans the pair were set to be reunited.

Naturally, that talk has only continued in the light of Fonte’s transfer request.

While Liverpool are thought not to be desperate to add a defender to their ranks, especially with Joël Matip shunning AFCON to help the Reds domestically, the availability of a player with whom many squad members are familiar could allow them to make an exception.