Arsenal join Man Utd in race to sign defender Fonte – report

Jose Fonte: Leaves for West Ham

Arsenal will rival Manchester United in the race to sign Southampton defender Jose Fonte, according to reports.

The Gunners are in dire need of central-defensive reinforcements, having started the Premier League season with Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as a partnership.

The pair understandably struggled in the season opener against Liverpool, which Arsenal lost 4-3.

Shkodran Mustafi of Valencia is thought to be the club’s primary target this summer, but his £30m asking price has caused the deal to stall.

The club are now considering other options, including Omer Toprak of Bayer Leverkusen and Simon Kjaer of Fenerbahce, but have now entered talks with Fonte over a potential move, according to ESPN.

The Southampton centre-half is a known target of Manchester United, and Andy Mitten reports that, despite interest from Arsenal, the 32-year-old ‘is keen’ to move to Old Trafford.

Fonte, who won Euro 2016 with Portugal this summer, would be available for just £10m, and offers vast Premier League experience.

According to Mitten, Mourinho is a fan of his compatriot as he is ‘reliable, technically good and able to read the game well’.

However, United would have to sell one of their first-team defenders in order to fund a deal for Fonte, meaning that Arsenal could steal a march on their rivals.