By Will Butcher
Jose Fonte is set to undergo a West Ham medical on Friday, according to a reliable journalist.
Bleacher Report’s transfer expert Dean Jones revealed on his personal Twitter account that Southampton’s club captain is set to complete a move to east London.
Update on Jose Fonte: Hearing that he is expected to undergo a medical at West Ham on Friday
— Dean Jones (@DeanJonesBR) January 19, 2017
Sky Sports transfer expert Kaveh Solhekol revealed on Thursday that the Hammers were closing in on an £8million move for the 33-year-old stopper.
Fonte, a Euro 2016 winner with Portugal last summer, handed in a transfer request at the start of the month as he looked to move on to the next chapter of his career.
The Hammers have pounced to sign Fonte, who has been with the Saints since their League One days after moving to the south coast from Crystal Palace in 2010.
Former Croatia and Besiktas manager Bilic has identified his defence as an area to strengthen this month after his side have managed just three clean sheets since October.
Now, Fonte will rival Winston Reid, James Collins and Angela Ogbonna for a place at the heart of the Hammers defence.
Football Insider verdict:
Fonte’s move to the London Stadium could provoke a change in formation under Bilic. The manager normally sets his side up with four at the back, but with the inclusion of Fonte, a three-man defence could be implemented that would see Fonte line up alongside New Zealand international Reid and former Juventus ace Ogbonna. With a move set to be completed in the immediate future, the Hammers will be bringing in a defender that has trusted Premier League experience and will provide a reliability and leadership in a defence that has been far from its best this season. Although edging towards the final stages of his career, Fonte has proven that he is playing the best football of his career after starring in Portgual’s side to inspire his side to Euro 2016 glory last summer.
In other West Ham transfer news, this Championship ace would solve Bilic’s problem area on the right side of defence.