It’s easy to look fondly on Manchester United’s business in last summer’s transfer window, given how well all four of Jose Mourinho’s acquisitions have fared. Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henirkh Mkhitaryan haven’t always found life easy in their new surroundings, but have all displayed more than enough quality in the first five months of this season to prove that the Portuguese was right to move for them.
However, there was one target who seemed to slip through the net last summer. Southampton defender Jose Fonte was seemingly also on the cusp to Old Trafford towards the end of August, with the Saints captain keen on leaving the South Coast club. A move never materialised, and Mourinho, initially sceptical about his options at centre back has been won over by the likes of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones with the two former outcasts forming a solid partnership since November.
Fonte has spiced things up a bit during this January’s transfer window by handing in a transfer request, according to The Mirror. The report carries quotes from the BBC who were speaking to Southampton’s director of football, Les Reed, who had this to say on the subject:
“He’s had several opportunities to improve the contract situation. He’s reserved his right not to do that.
“He’s made it very clear he would like to explore the opportunities for a transfer.
“That’s where we are at the moment, Jose wants to leave the club. He’s formally asked for a transfer.”
This confirms what we already knew; that Fonte is keen to leave the club in search of pastures new. The only question from a United perspective is this; is Mourinho still keen on bringing his fellow countryman to the club? Bailly is away on international duty with Ivory Coast for the next month, at least, and with doubts persisting over Chris Smalling, perhaps the United manager will be tempted to bring Fonte to the club.