Southampton provide latest Man United transfer update on defender

Claude Puel says Southampton are unaware of Manchester United's interest in Jose Fonte

Southampton are unaware of Manchester United’s reported interest in Portugal defender Jose Fonte, according to Claude Puel.

The Daily Mirror have claimed that the Red Devils are interested in the 32-year-old Saints centre-half as Jose Mourinho looks to bolster his defensive options.

The same articles states that the 20-time English champions would be willing to offer Argentina international Marcos Rojo as part of a deal to secure Fonte’s signature.

The Southampton captain helped Portugal win the European championship in France this summer after a 1-0 extra-time victory over the hosts last month.

Saints manager Peul poured cold water on transfer speculation linking Fonte with United ahead of Southampton’s trip to Old Trafford on Friday night.

“There is no problem with Jose, it is just strange that this rumour comes just before the game at United,” Peul is quoted as saying by Metro.

“There is a possibility that he may travel with us to Old Trafford. But he is a very good professional and he has played well in training sessions this week and it is important to have Jose with us, I hope, for the United game’

“Jose has good experience, so he cannot be disturbed by this rumour but I am just surprised to hear this before the game, two days before the match. But Jose is our captain and I’m sure he will be completely ready for this game.”

Fonte has scored 15 times in 267 appearances in all competitions for the Saints after moving to St Mary’s from Crystal Palace in 2009.

The Portuguese defender missed Southampton’s 1-1 draw with Watford in their opening Premier League game of the season last weekend.

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United, meanwhile, were 3-1 winners against another south coast club – Bournemouth – at Vitality Stadium on Sunday evening.

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