Manchester United are reportedly prepared to offer Marcos Rojo in a deal involving the transfer of Jose Fonte from Southampton to Old Trafford.
The Sun reported in the wee hours of Wednesday that Manchester United are lining up a bid for Southampton’s Jose Fonte and are prepared to offer Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo to sweeten the deal in United’s favour. The report stated that with Arsenal joining the race for the Portuguese international, Jose Mourinho is prepared to part with Marcos Rojo in order to gain the upper hand in the battle to sign his fellow countryman.
Jose Fonte has been linked with a move to Manchester United after he admitted to being flattered about the reported interest from Jose Mourinho’s current employers. This is despite the 32-year-old being offered a new contract by Southampton, which would make Fonte the highest paid Saints player among the current squad members.
Arsenal suffered a horrendous defensive outing in the season opener as Liverpool knocked four past their depleted back-line and the result has reportedly spurred Arsene Wenger into action who is now eyeing a move for Jose Fonte to add some steel to the defence.
Jose Fonte joined Southampton from Crystal Palace in the January 2010 and the Portuguese international has since been a rock for the Saints. The 32-year-old has been ever-present since joining the club, appearing in 243 league matches and being a pivotal figure in Southampton’s promotion-winning campaign.
Fonte has been a key man in the club’s rise in becoming one of the better Premier League sides currently plying their trade in the top tier of English football. The Saints captain has led from the front in the past two seasons with his consistent performances while appearing in 34 of the club’s 38 Premier League games over the past two terms (stats via whoscored).
Arsenal and Manchester United are both keen on Fonte. Southampton are reportedly valuing Fonte around the £8m mark but new manager Claude Puel would need a replacement lined up if they were to agree on a transfer for the Portugal international. Something that could give Jose Mourinho the upper hand over Arsene Wenger.
Southampton were reported admirers of Marcos Rojo two seasons ago with the Argentinian ultimately choosing United. However, with first-team opportunities seemingly limited at Old Trafford, the 27-year-old could be prepared to make the switch that would bring Southampton a defender with age on his side. Fonte shares the same client as United manager Jose Mourinho, Jorge Mendes, and the super-agent could also be the decisive factor in United’s ability to clinch the deal.