By Harry Sykes
West Ham signed Jose Fonte from Southampton even though West Brom offered a bigger wage to the defender, according to a report.
The Sun on Sunday (page 65) claimed that the centre-back, 33, rejected the opportunity to earn more cash at the Hawthorns to complete a move to the London Stadium.
It is said Tony Pulis’ side “were willing to pay £65,000-a-week for the 33-year-old”, a sum which trumped the deal on offer at West Ham.
But Portugal Euro 2016 winner Fonte elected to complete an £8million transfer from Southampton to West Ham on Friday evening even though he will personally be slightly worse off.
The Hammers announced on Friday night that they had signed Fonte for £8million and he had penned a two-and-a-half year contracted running until the summer of 2019.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) January 20, 2017
The transfer was hailed on social media by West Ham fans, who believe the Euro 2016 winner can slot in smoothly to Slaven Bilic’s side.
Fonte handed in a transfer request to Southampton earlier in the month following a contract dispute with the club he had been a part of for seven years.
He was a key figure during the Saints’ dramatic rise from the depths of the English third tier and was even made captain by former boss Ronald Koeman when Adam Lallana left.
Fonte has joined a side that are higher placed in the Premier League table, with West Ham climbing to 10th following their 3-1 weekend win at Middlesbrough.
By contrast, Southampton are 11th in the division after beating Leicester 3-0 on Saturday.
In other West Ham team news, the club have been installed odds-on favourites to sign a Premier League midfield goal machine this month.