Southampton captain Jose Fonte hands in transfer request
Southampton captain Jose Fonte hands in transfer request

Southampton captain Jose Fonte has told the club he would like to leave, after handing in a transfer request earlier this afternoon.

The Portuguese defender, who has been at the club since 2010, was heavily linked with Manchester United in the Summer.

See it coming?

After Fonte decided to stay at the club despite Jose Mourinho's interest, it was thought that he may commit his long-term future to the club he has helped become an established Premier League outfit.

However, after months of uncertainty, the 33-year-old has today told the club he would like to move on.

Fonte currently has 18 months left of his contract, which he signed in October 2015.

Reed tells it straight

Southampton's Director of Football, Les Reed, spoke to BBC Radio Solent earlier today and announced that Fonte had expressed his desire to leave the club.

"He's had several opportunities to improve the contract situation," stated Reed. "He's reserved his right not to do that."

Reed continued: "He's made it very clear he would like to explore the opportunities for a transfer," before concluding by saying,"That's where we are at the moment, Jose wants to leave the club. He's formally asked for a transfer."

However, Reed did state that there had been no offers for the player as of yet.

Fonte's career

The central defender, who lifted the European Championship trophy earlier this year, has been a fantastic servant at the club, overseeing their rise from the third tier to the Premier League.

However, under new boss Claude Puel, Fonte found himself frozen out of the European fixtures this season, as well as being benched in the league for Maya Yoshida and Virgil van Dijk.

Despite this, Frenchman Puel seemed confident that both Fonte and van Dijk would remain at the club beyond the January window. That is now looking increasingly unlikely.