Fonte Linked With Move
Thursday, 13th Aug 2015 14:35
According to Sky Sports Jose Fonte is being pursued by Aston Villa with Everton also being interested.
Shock transfer rumour of the day is Sky Sports claim that Aston Villa are in talks with Jose Fonte about a move to Villa Park with Everton being named as a club who are also potentially interested.
Fonte was Saints player of the year last season and has been a constant in the Saints defence over the past 5 1/2 years in a side that has risen through the league with back to back promotions followed by 3 good years in the Premier.
The big question though is why this news should emerge now ?
There could be several reasons so lets take a look at them.
1. Saints have been linked with several central defensive signings over the past few weeks and already have Steven Caulker on a season long loan, Villa could see this as a good time for a cheeky bid.
2. Fonte is under contract to 2017 however he could potentially get one last payday from a move, so this could be his agent maneuvering for either a pay rise on his existing Saints contract with the threat of a move elsewhere.
3. Fonte will be 32 in December, Saints have plenty of money in the bank still, if they were to land both Virgil Van Dijk and Kalidou Koulibaly or indeed a similar standard central defender they may feel that it would be a good time to cash in on Fonte, whilst this would not go down well with the fans, there is a precedent in the departure of Rickie Lambert last summer. Indeed take the goalkeeping situation a year ago, Artur Boruc was good enough but the chance came for Saints to get Fraser Forster and they did so, that could be happening now with Van Dijk & Koulibaly. The trick with any club is knowing when to sell an established player before he is over the hill and replace him, in this respect Saints got it spot on with Lambert and may feel its time to repeat the process.
4. Fonte himself may see the writing on the wall, even if Saints were only to sign Virgil Van Dijk for instance, Fonte would be under pressure for his place from Steven Caulker, this being the case Fonte himself may prefer a move to a club where he could be guaranteed a first team place, certainly if Van Dijk was to come then next summer the club would almost certainly be looking for a new partner for him with Fonte approaching 33.
The answer is that perhaps there is a bit of truth in all 4 reasons, if indeed there is any truth at all, what I will say though is that Saints transfer policy is based on knowing a players worth to the side and knowing when to sell him, no matter how good Fonte is unfortunately age is against him, a year ago Hull were rumoured to have offered £3.5 million for him, if Saints were to get anywhere near that now, they would have to consider it as the player is at an age when his value will now fall substantially.
I don't think any Saints fan would be happy to see Jose go no matter what the reasoning, he has come through nearly six years with us and can truly be considered a club legend as can several more of his contemporaries since Marcus Liebherr took over.
However in football sentimentality has to be put to one side sometimes and that often means harsh decisions have to be made, but the top clubs know when to make those decisions and are not afraid to do so.
Photo: Action Images
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