Everton intensify PL defender interest after £9m bid - report
By Harvey Byrne
Everton have been alerted after Southampton defender Jose Fonte rejected a new contract with the south coast club, according to a report.
The Mirror has claimed that the Toffees remain keen on signing the 32-year-old after lodging a £9million bid in the summer.
It is said that the bid has caused tensions between the club and captain, after Southampton failed to inform their captain of the offer.
The experienced defender’s contract runs out in 2018 and it is claimed that the Saints have offered to make Fonte their highest paid player with an £80,000-a-week deal.
However, it is stated that he has so far refused a new contract with the Hampshire-based club unwilling to extend his current deal.
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Fonte has been at Southampton since 2010, playing in 282 fixtures for the club.
He has played a key role in the club’s rise, which has seen them move from League One to the Europa League.
His career has seemingly improved in it’s latter years and he even won the European Championships with Portugal in the summer.
He has made 15 appearances for the Saints this season, but has not played a single minute of Europa League football.
The report states that Manchester United, who are also in the European competition are interested and Fonte shares the same agent as manager Jose Mourinho.
Football Insider verdict:
Fonte has been the one constant in Southampton’s recent history. Koeman made him the captain as soon as he came to the club in 2014 and is clearly a big fan of the Portugal international. He would be a huge upgrade on Everton’s current defence, but as he’s set to turn 33 this month it is a question of how much longer he has left. He wants a contract taking him past 2018, which could leave him at a club until he’s 35. Whether he still has the ability when he’s that age will remain to be seen, but there are plenty of players in the past who have lost the class to play in the Premier League at the late stages of their career.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees should sign this 26-year-old to replace injured Yannick Bolasie.