Wantaway Fonte set to sign for West Ham

Daniel Roberts
Jose Fonte: Leaves for West Ham

Jose Fonte: Leaves for West Ham

West Ham United are closing in on the signing of wantaway Southampton defender Jose Fonte.

The Hammers are said to have agreed a £8million fee for 33-year-old who has been keen to leave the south coast after contractual disagreements.

The centre-back signed for Saints back in 2010 from Crystal Palace and has gone on to become a crucial player for the team, making over 250 appearances.

Southampton manager Claude Puel confirmed at his press conference on Thursday that the defender was set to leave.

“Jose has different possibilities,” said the Saints boss. “He has the solution and the opportunity to see this, and we will see what the situation is in a few days.

“He was in training this morning with the players and he works normally with good spirit, and like a professional.”

The side have lost their last four games in the Premier League and Puel has stated the speculation has been a distraction.

“This situation with Jose is difficult for the squad,” Puel said. “It’s difficult for him also.

“It’s not just about this market; it’s been since the beginning of the season.

“It’s been a difficult situation for Jose because he’s always in discussions with the club, about contracts, or no contracts.

“I took a decision at the beginning of this window to keep Jose out the team, to study different possibilities, and to protect the team from all this speculation about Jose.

“With this many games, it’s important to keep focused about our game, not just on the situation of Jose. It’s difficult, but the squad can take the responsibilities.”