Southampton have reportedly set an asking price of £15m for Jose Fonte, who is a January target for Manchester United.

Daily Mail claim Southampton have set an asking price of £15m for veteran defender Jose Fonte. The Euro 2016 winner has been in the midst of a contract dispute with the club, and is being eyed by the Red Devils to bolster their defence.

Jose Fonte is a 32-year-old Portuguese international who has been a mainstay at the back for the Saints from their time in the Championship, the second-tier of English football. The veteran is set to enter the last 18 months of his contract at St. Mary’s and there have been contrasting reports related to his contract renewal.

While Southampton have stated that the player has refused a renewal, Jose Fonte took to social media to confirm that he had yet to receive an extension offer from the club.

Jose Mourinho had been interested in bringing his countryman over to Old Trafford during the summer transfer window and is ready to go back in for the 32-year-old in January.

From Saint to a Devil? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
From Saint to a Devil? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Mourinho and United were reportedly under the impression that a bid in the region of £5 million may be sufficient to secure a transfer for the player, who is managed by the same agent as Mourinho, Jorge Mendes.

But the latest reports have claimed that Southampton are unwilling to part with their defensive stalwart without a fight and have stepped up the asking price to as much as thrice of what Mourinho expected would be enough, i.e., £15m in an attempt to stave off the potential suitors.

Although £15m is a steep transfer fee for a 32-year-old entering the last 18 months of his contract, Manchester United may oblige their present manager by giving him what he needs in the January transfer window.

Jose Fonte has earlier publicly appreciated United’s interest in him and he could be set to join his countryman’s rebuilding project at Old Trafford.

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