Date: 18th August 2016 at 8:35am
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How strong an interest do United have in Southampton’s Jose Fonte?

Rumour has it we’re battling Arsenal for him and he wants this move. Claude Puel, his Saints boss, has played this down.

He feels someone at the United end of things has got the ball rolling on these ‘strange’ reports, which come about shortly before the meeting on Friday.

Puel, speaking in his pre-match press conference, doesn’t think there’s anything to the speculation surrounding his Southampton captain.

‘It is just a rumour. It is just strange to see this rumour just before the game against United. It is a possibility it comes from United, it is strange. There is no problem with Jose. He is a very good professional.’

Fonte is a player who has grown in reputation over the years, he’s broken into the Portugal national side late in his career and won Euro 2016 in the summer. A proven Premier League player who could be a steadying and calming influence at Old Trafford and exactly what Jose Mourinho is looking for?

The thing is the Southampton boss also feels he’s exactly what the Saints needs and he expects him to line up against United.

‘It is important to have him with us and we will see for Manchester if he can keep his place or not. Jose, the same as Yoshida or van Dijk, made good training sessions and it is interesting for the team to have good players for this position. Jose is our captain and there is no problem with him.’

This one isn’t likely to be resolved ahead of this match but you sense it has some mileage left in it yet!

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