Fonte future: Five Premier League destinations for wantaway Saints skipper
Jose Fonte next club odds
After handing in a transfer request at Southampton, Coral look at Jose Fonte next club odds for the St Mary’s skipper.
A Euro 2016 winner with Portugal this past summer, where would suit this late-blooming centre back? Our football writers assess five Premier League destinations for Fonte…
Before signing for the Saints in Janaury 2010, Fonte spent two-and-a-half seasons at Selhurst Park where he showed some of the promise that had earlier seen Benfica snap him up.
New Eagles boss Sam Allardyce recently said in a press conference that defensive recruits were a “necessity” in south London. He has just two fit full backs and three centre halves at the moment.
A return to Palace for cannot be ruled out at 5/2 among Fonte next club odds; though, with 18 months still to run on his Saints deal, he will likely cost far more than the reported £1.2m he was sold from Selhurst for.
Maybe it’s the fact he’s Portuguese like Jose Mourinho or that Manchester United are without Eric Bailly, who is with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, but links between the Red Devils and Fonte continue to crop up.
United are on a 15-match unbeaten run across all competitions and have won their last three to nil, so that suggests this mooted move is not made of necessity like apparent Palace interest.
Permanent departures are anticipated at Old Trafford this window, but not necessarily in defence. The betting suggests Fonte could be squeezed in at Man Utd, though, as he’s 11/4 to join them.
West Ham United
The Hammers are short on fit defenders like Palace, but Slaven Bilic has somehow steered them away from immediate danger despite further injuries in attack.
It’s odd to see a promising West Ham team from last term struggling so much following a switch to the Olympic Stadium used for London 2012.
Fonte, 4/1 to make the Hammers his next club, would be a safe pair of hands for Bilic beside Winston Reid in the heart of defence.
Southampton have sold plenty of their top talents to the red half of Merseyside in recent years; just ask Sadio Mane or Fonte’s erstwhile defensive partner Dejan Lovren.
While Liverpool are impressive in attack, the rearguard looks like it could be improved and poaching the Portugal centre back could pay dividends for Jurgen Klopp.
At odds of 9/1 to move to Anfield, Fonte could easily reprise his partnership with Croatia international Lovren. His Saints friends in the Reds squad mean he’ll never walk alone.
Could former Southampton boss Ronald Koeman come in for Fonte? He’s also linked with current Saints centre back partner Virgil van Dijk.
Despite the summer capture of Swansea City and Wales skipper Ashley Williams, the Toffees have been lacklustre defensively at times.
It’s a 12/1 long shot that Fonte goes to Goodison Park, but don’t underestimate the Koeman connection.
Bonus destination: Benfica
Although he was on Benfica’s books between 2006 and 2008, Fonte never featured for the Lisbon giants in a competitive game.
You might say he has unfinished business at the Stadium of Light, then. No, not that one, but the Portuguese one.
At 5/1 to go back to Benfica, Fonte may fancy one more crack at football with a top team and reigning domestic champion in his homeland.