Published On: Sat, Aug 20th, 2016

Report: Mourinho keen on Southampton's Fonte

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To see a list of completed deals in the summer window thus far, visit theScore’s Premier League transfer tracker.

Looking to further bolster a back-line that’s been short on faults through the opening two league fixtures, Jose Mourinho is reportedly targeting Southampton centre-back Jose Fonte as a fifth and final major summer signing.

With a year left on his deal at St. Mary’s, Fonte appears set to become the latest Saints standout to leave the south coast side for greener pastures, with Mourinho eyeing his Euro-winning countryman, according to Jamie Jackson from the Guardian.

Fonte has reportedly been offered a new deal at Southampton but has yet to agree on terms.

Mourinho was afforded the opportunity to scout Fonte in person Friday, when United topped Southampton 2-0 at Old Trafford courtesy of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic double.

Two wins in two matches to kick off the Mourinho era has signaled a return to form for United on the heels of a busy summer, and after four marquee moves, the club has addressed many of the holes that plagued Louis van Gaal’s tenure.

Related: Manchester United rumours won’t distract Fonte, says Puel

While Southampton gaffer Claude Puel is desperate to keep fan favourite Fonte, profiting from the sale of a player to a bigger club has very much become the club’s ethos. Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle, and Victor Wanyama all jumped ship earlier in the summer a season after Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin did the same.

United’s Eric Bailly acquisition from Villarreal appears a brilliant move, and the Ivorian will eventually pair alongside Chris Smalling once the England international regains full fitness. A move for Fonte would only help solidify a position of major concern last season, and will effectively spell the end of the fruitless Daley Blind at centre-half experiment.

Though Puel insists Fonte’s focus is on all things Southampton, the Portuguese international is cognizant of Mourinho’s interest, saying earlier in the summer, “If there’s interest, it’s a reason to feel flattered to be associated with a club like Manchester United.

“It’s true that I’ve known Mourinho for many years. We’ve faced each other many times, he knows me well.”

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