A strong possibility
The 33-year-old has been crucial to the Saints since his move in 2010, but the Portuguese international stated his desire to leave St Mary's at the beginning of the month, handing in a transfer request.
There was rumours that a move to Manchester United was on the cards for Fonte, but it seems that the Hammers are the front-runners to capture the defender.
Sky Sports reported that a deal was close for the European Championship winner, with a reported £8 million fee discussed between the two clubs.
Southampton manager Claude Puel confirmed in his press conference that his departure could be an imminent possibility.
"Jose has different possibilities," said the Saints boss. "He has the solution and the opportunity to see this, and we will see what the situation is in a few days."
The Hammers will be buoyant heading to Teesside this Saturday, after their crucial 3-0 win over Crystal Palace the previous weekend.
One player that will have fond memories of facing Boro will be defender James Collins, who was part of the side that defeated this weekend's opponents back in 2006 in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Marlon Harewood's goal set up the final with Liverpool, and Collins reminisced about what he considers one of his best moments in a West Ham shirt.
"It has to be one of my best days in a West Ham shirt," Collins told whufc.com. "And one of the highlights of my career."
“Everything about it was fantastic," he stated. "It was my first year at West Ham and we knew it was going to be a big day."
“We played really well," the Welshman stressed. "I probably have most of my memories from after the game when we were celebrating in the big bath tub and enjoyed the celebrations."
Collins concluded: "That will stay with me forever.”
West Ham United will take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, January 21 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.