By Richard Parks
Jose Fonte refused to play in a West Ham reserve match specially arranged by David Moyes to help get him match fit, according to Davie Provan.
The Sky Sports pundit and Celtic legend claimed in his Scottish Sun on Sunday column that the defender, 34, snubbed the recent fixture at non-league outfit and near-neighbours Dagenham and Redbridge.
It had been scheduled by West Ham manager Moyes as Fonte worked his way back to fitness before his transfer to Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, which was announced on Friday.
“A couple of weeks ago I mentioned David Moyes arranging a reserve game to get an injured player match-fit,” Provan told the Scottish Sun.
“The game was at Dagenham and Redbridge and to Moysey’s frustration Jose Fonte didn’t fancy pulling on his boots at the National League club’s ground.
“Now, Fonte is signing for Dalian Yifang in the Chinese Super League. He couldn’t cross London for a reserve game but is answering the call of the cash register five thousand miles away. Don’t you love the modern-day player?”
Football Insider verdict:
West Ham fans are likely to have responded to Fonte’s move to the cash-rich Chinese league and responded with, ‘Good riddance”. The defender signed from Southampton in January 2017 was unable to replicate his performances on the south coast in a Hammers jersey and had spent half of this season out with injury before returning to the squad shortly before his exit. Supporters will be angered that he regused to play in a fixture specially arranged on his behalf. It is unlikely the West Ham faithful will fondly remember him in the years ahead.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club are on the verge of signing a 25-year-old speed machine.