With Manchester United reportedly interested in Southampton defender Jose Fonte, new Saints boss Claude Puel faces the tough task to keep one of his best players at the club.
Fonte has been one of the most consistent players in the Premier League in recent seasons and thoroughly impressed at the European Championships with Portugal this summer, helping his team to an historic and unprecedented victory.
With the player exodus at Southampton a seemingly never-ending cycle when summer comes around, fans on the South Coast will be biting their nails, praying that yet another one of the main players doesn’t decide to depart for one of the Premier League elite clubs.
If Fonte does decide to move away from St. Mary’s, Claude Puel will need to act fast in replacing his club captain and star defender.
Here are five players that Southampton should consider to replace Jose Fonte if he leaves…
In July, reports surfaced suggesting that Neven Subotic was on the verge of joining Middlesbrough from Borussia Dortmund, in a move that surprised many, considering the quality of the player. However, after the discovery of a serious medical issue, Boro called the deal off.
While it is expected that the Serbian will not be back in competitive action until January, his modest transfer fee and age make him a defender that would be well worth gambling on.
A mainstay in both the Lazio and Netherlands team, Stefan de Vrij has a wealth of experience considering his age. At just 24, the Dutchman has already established himself as one of the best defenders in Serie A.
Stefan de Virj would be a perfect signing for Southampton, especially as he could cost no more than £15million.
Arguably the best English defender playing outside the top flight last season, Michael Keane’s career has truly ignited since his permanent move to Burnley in 2015.
Southampton could benefit from a strong, English leader at the back, who could develop his career significantly at St. Mary’s.
Ragnar Sigurdsson demonstrated his talents on the European stage, leading Iceland to an unprecedented quarter final appearance.
The defender is strong, committed and passionate and would jump at the chance of playing in England.
Likely available for as little as £6million, Southampton should make a move for Sigurdsson quickly.
Saint-Etienne defender Loic Perrin has never strayed from his childhood club, despite offers from across Europe in the past.
Now in his 19th season with Les Vertes, Perrin is impressing more than ever, despite his declining years. The 31-year-old was even called up to the French squad at the end of last year, indicating just how well he is performing domestically.
While Perrin may be a Saint-Etienne man through and through, he would undoubtedly find a move to the Premier League hard to resist, especially as he is coming to the twilight stage of his career.