Jose Fonte: I’m flattered to be associated with Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Southampton defender Jose Fonte has admitted he is flattered by rumours linking him with Manchester United.

It has been reported that Jose Mourinho, after finally landing the signing of Paul Pogba, is now focused on bringing another central defender to the club.

And after impressing at Euro 2016 with Portugal, who beat hosts France in the final, the 32-year-old is a prime candidate in the eyes of Mourinho.

Fonte claimed being linked with such a big club was flattering but insisted he is fully concentration on his endeavours at Southampton.

“If the interest is there it is a reason to be flattered to be associated with a club like Manchester United,” he told Maisfutebol.

“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 makes me happy to be associated with it. But to be Manchester United’s player is a big difference.”

As a stocky, powerful and surprisingly quick centre back, it is no surprise Fonte has caught the eye of Mourinho, who notoriously places emphasis on a mixture of stature and speed in that area.

With Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling set to be the first choice centre back pairing this season, Fonte would provide excellent back-up, and is certainly preferable to the injury prone Phil Jones or Daley Blind, who certainly doesn’t fit the 53-year-old conception of a solid centre-back.

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