By Alex Stevens
Everton have launched a £9million bid for Southampton captain Jose Fonte, according to a report.
The Sun claim Ronald Koeman has turned his attention to the Euro 2016 winner as it emerged that John Stones is expected to join Manchester City for £50million later this week.
However, there is also interest in Fonte from Manchester United as Jose Mourinho looks to add some experience to his back line.
Koeman also wants to strengthen his defence ahead of the upcoming season and eyes Saints captain Fonte as a proven and battle-hardened performer.
Fonte, who was part of the Portugal side that were crowned Euro 2016 champions, has a contract until 2018 but it is believed that the Saints may be willing to cash in on their club captain the offer is right.
Mourinho’s first choice is Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci but with the Italian side reluctant to lose the 29-year-old, he could turn his attentions to the Southampton man.
Koeman knows Fonte well during his time at Southampton as the 32-year-old enjoyed a fine season at Saint Mary’s.
The Dutch chief has yet to make a major summer signing and has been left frustrated in the transfer market so far, with goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg the only senior arrival on a free transfer.
Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic and Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson are among those who have rejected the chance to join Goodison Park.
But Koeman’s priority remains improving a defence that conceded 55 league goals last season and ultimately cost Roberto Martinez his job.
In other Everton transfer news, the club are closing in on a record-breaking deal.