West Ham United are on the verge of clinching the signature of Southampton defender Jose Fonte, according to Sky Sports.
What’s the latest?
Fonte has been considering his options ever since lodging a transfer request earlier this month.
Numerous Premier League clubs have been linked with an interest in the Portugal Euro 2016 winner, but if reports are to be believed, the Hammers are winning the race.
Sky Sports claim that both West Ham and Southampton are close to agreeing an £8m fee for the centre-back, who has been at the South-Coast club for the past six-and-a-half years following a switch from Crystal Palace.
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic was coy about Fonte’s possible arrival when questions were posed to him in Thursday’s press conference. He told reporters:
“Not a medical. Look, I said a few times already I’m not going to talk about names.”
Is West Ham the right fit for Fonte?
If the 33-year-old makes the move to East London, he will not be moving much further up the Premier League table.
In fact, West Ham sit 12th, just one place and one point above Southampton, so it begs the question why Fonte feels the need to leave the Saints.
Perhaps there are reasons behind the scenes that the fans are not privy to, but one thing is for certain, his arrival would be a welcome boost to the Hammers’ defence.
The Portuguese centre-back will bring experience and composure to the back line, and could potentially form a strong partnership with Winston Reid.