By Alex Stevens
Everton have been given a glimmer of hope in their January pursuit of Southampton defender Jose Fonte, according to a report.
The Telegraph claim the south coast club are ready to cash in on the Portuguese centre-back if they receive an offer that matches their £13million valuation.
It is said that Euro 2016 winner Fonte, 33, has failed to agree terms on a new contract, with the Southampton hierarchy offering him a pay rise although not an extension to his current agreement, which expires in the summer of 2018.
Everton are in the market for a new centre-back in the January window amid doubts over their senior men Phil Jagielka, Ramiro Funes Mori and summer signing Ashley Williams.
The Telegraph report a “possibility” that 19-times Portugal international Fonte could move to Everton next month although the publication pours cold water on the likelihood of Virgil van Dijk making the same journey from the south coast to Merseyside.
Fonte joined Southampton in January 2010 from Crystal Palace and has been an integral member of a team that has consistently punched above its weight in recent seasons.
He has started 15 of the club’s 17 Premier League matches this season but was reportedly unhappy that he was not selected for any of their six Europa League fixtures.
Since moving to the Saints for a bargain £1.2million, Fonte has made 284 appearances in all competitions and weighed in with 15 goals.
In other Everton transfer news, a £115,000-a-week ace is set to move to Goodison Park after a breakthrough in talks.