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Saints Deny Fonte Bids ! But Clearly Issues With The Situation !
Tuesday, 16th Aug 2016 09:00

Saints have denied that they have been in preliminary talks with Manchester United over Jose Fonte, however there are are clearly issues with the central defender and a proposed new contract.

It has been interesting to read an article on the Daily Echo website this morning, clearly written after consultation with the club, it's first objective is to try and re assure supporters that no bids have been received for Fonte and give the impression that all is well, however it then takes a darker tone as it seems to be trying to set the scene for an expected storm and to paint the club in a good light.

It is the type of article that all football clubs use from time to time, get a sympathetic journalist to write a piece putting over the club's point when they cannot publicly say things themselves on their own website.

The Echo say that no bids have been received for Fonte and confirm that he has been offered a new contract and here is where it starts to get worrying.

The article goes on to say that the club is "optimistic" that Fonte will sign a new deal whilst pointing out that the club have been very generous to Fonte and wish to acknowledge his significance to the team with this new pay rise. It also drops the hint that although the money has been increased the term of the contract signed by Fonte last season has not, due to his age.

But the inference is very much about how good the club have been and there is clearly some friction that the new contract has not been signed yet, some two weeks after it has been put on the table.

It is saying to Saints fans "What more can we do ?"

In many respects they are right, Saints are in a strong position, Fonte signed a new deal less than a year ago, Saints could have merely asked him to honour that, the two years left probably taking him through to the end of his top flight career, there are some who would say why should we pay more than we have to ?

But clearly the club have not operated in that way, they have looked to reward Fonte not just for his performances but for his contributions off the field.

So why has Fonte not signed the new deal ?

His agent will be one cause, Jorge Mendes is one of the best known in the business and he didn't get that reputation by getting his clients to sign the first thing thrown at him, Mendes is also Jose Mourinho' agent and this is where te plot thickens, it is clearly in Mendes interests to keep this deal in the press, yes of course he is trying to get Fonte the best deal on offer, but i think this is more about Mourinho, Mendes is trying to up his client and indeed close friend Mourinho's stock in football after last season's debacle at Chelsea.

But this is not of any help to Saints and if it is not careful it will sour a great relationship between the club, it's player and indeed with Fonte and Saints fans.

This is not a question about ambition, yes of course Fonte would want to play for a big club, but the reality is that although United do have issues in the centre of defence, they also have plenty of options and if Fonte did go he would probably find himself fourth of even fifth choice in the centre of United's defence.

It is clearly a question of money and Jorge Mendes trying to squeeze more out of Saints for Fonte, Saints have been squeezed plenty of times by agents, that is part and parcel of the game, they will not be upset by this happening, however they will be upset by Mendes making it a public issue and stirring up trouble for Saints who still have a portion of the fanbase on their back everytime they sell a player.

One thing is for sure, Saints will not be sitting back and hoping it all turns out for the best, they will be using their scouting system to source another central defender and if Mendes is not careful he may find his client out in the cold at St Mary's with the new offer withdrawn and the transfer window closed

Photo: Action Images

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PhantomTippler added 09:27 - Aug 16
Southampton FC the most "optimistic" club in world, I'm sick to death of the "we are optimistic about......" statements from Southampton season after season just for us to be sh*t on. Justin Rose said he wanted to play golf in Rio 2016 to give something back to British golf fans. That's what we need in football not "optimistic" but hollow statements. I think this will be my last season ticket SMS I have no reason to feel "optimistic" about Southampton FC or football in general.

mattlegod added 09:32 - Aug 16
It's Saints reputation I am not kiking. . we are becoming the laughing stock, the butt of all jokes in that we are getting picked off at will by anyone prepared to splash the cash. Our once very credible and sought after reputation is diminished from the neutral fans perspective

sidsaint added 09:38 - Aug 16
If the club really valued Fonte they would have given him a better contract last year. This smacks of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

SonicBoom added 09:40 - Aug 16
This is a ridiculous situation.
I could understand Mendes and his little games if Fonte was 25 but he's 32!
What are his options go to Man U and sit on the bench? If that is even true. As they say no bid has been received.
Fonte has been great but no one is irreplaceable. He signed a new deal less than a year ago! So we are completely within our right to say you're going nowhere.
If Man U really want him then make a bid !
Personally I would say to Jose, we have made a very good offer so take it or leave it. Give him a week to sign it.
He will get yet another pay rise (like the greedy bast ards actually need MORE money) and he will get to play.

Jesus_02 added 10:04 - Aug 16
Its a bit short sighted to say that Jose has 2 years of playing left when Ricardo Carvalho played happily until he was 37

Also i understand SonicBooms frustration but last time we told someone to take it or leave it (Koeman) he left it, and left the club

SonicBoom added 10:16 - Aug 16
Yes but Koeman was being courted by Everton and they were waving huge amounts of cash at him. He was also entering the last year of his contract.
In the case of Fonte we really do hold all the cards.

ericofarabia added 10:39 - Aug 16
Needs to be sorted very quickly ... at the moment there is no way Fonte will be able to play against Man U on Fri unless he himself declares that he is staying and/or both clubs say there is nothing in these rumours.


dirk_doone added 10:50 - Aug 16
" he would probably find himself fourth of even fifth choice in the centre of United's defence." lol. You really don't rate him, do you Nick?

If Man United buy him, I guaranteee you, Mourinho will put him straight into their starting lineup. He knows, as most football experts do, that Fonte is one of the best central defenders in Europe. He is so undervalued by some Saints fans like you, that you could understand it if he wanted to move somehwere where he'd be better appreciated.

saintsnutcase added 11:29 - Aug 16
There is only one CB in the Premiership who is clearly better than Fonte. His name is Vergil Van Dyke.

pintsizedsaint added 12:46 - Aug 16
Wow! Just got back from my hols to see 99.9% of Saints fans pressing panic buttons! Apparently this is all Les Reed's fault too! The guy can do no right!

This is a long experienced Agent work this. I think I posted a few weeks ago that it was clear Fonte would be asking for a pay rise given the Euro win. Saints have offered what I can only speculate to be an extremely attractive deal given the Saints wage structure, although Mendes reckons he can squeeze more. The article in the Echo today is SFC saying the deal is the deal - take it or leave it.

I really don't think Man Utd are interested as its not a long term solution for them. SFC make it clear that £8m won't make them budge. Perhaps £15m? For a 32 year old defender? You've got be rich, stupid and desperate if you are willing to go there.

Which brings me to Everton. They do need to plug a gap and have silly money to burn. But then it's up to Fonte - who might just then see the improved offer from Saints as being OK!

I'm putting my money on Fonte re-signing an improved contract and talking about how much he loves Southampton/focused on Euro campaign etc. etc.

But nothing is certain I guess! If he moves, he moves for money.

SaintPaulVW added 13:29 - Aug 16
I reckon he's off. Last big cash in at the end of his career. Hope I'm wrong. I hope Saints tell him not this year, but next year to give us a chance to get a replacement in place. If a big offer gets made though.....

halftimeorange added 16:20 - Aug 16
There is only one CB in the Premiership who is clearly better than Fonte. His name is Virgil Van Dyke. And he won't be at Saints next season.

SanMarco added 17:58 - Aug 16
I am sick and fed up with it all. Why can't the transfer window close before the season starts?

densham41 added 18:12 - Aug 16
Honestly I can't believe half the stuff iv read above. Fonte is 32, he's made plenty of rickets during his time at Saints and some above have him as some sort of messiah.
Toby was far better than Fonte and VVD is one of the best centre halfs we've ever had.
We support the club. I for one feel we should give him a fare wage rise within our limitations. He can take it or leave it. Paying stupid wages can put the club at risk. He's not worth big big money.

ExiledSupporter added 18:41 - Aug 16
Half this problem arises because we have signally failed to sign a decent young challenger for Fonte's place this summer. Big mistake No.1. Add to that our unwanted but justified reputation for selling when under pressure...Mistake No.2 And then No. 3 our practice of under investment ie. when a major squad player leaves for a load of cash we try again to buy cheap (those with promise)and then the rest of the money seems to stay in the bank - but nobody at the club seems to have noticed that other similar status clubs to us are prepared to spend more, have as good research as we used to lead the field with and have more stability within their squads - making them more attractive to players. On top of that I remain to be convinced that Puel was the right signing for us because he does not shout out top class manager in the way that RK did - I wish him all the best and have not by any means written him off in terms of on-field performance but I truly believe he lacks the reputation that we needed to lead the team and to attract otherwise diffident players to our ranks (our two new recruits are great additions but on balance whole squad vs whole squad last season we are unquestionably weaker and in this context with no new quality players on the horizon if Fonte and Austin are allowed to go then I think we are screwed this season...and will have more probl;ems of the same sort in tyhe coming transfer windows!

BarnetSaint added 18:51 - Aug 16
The club have shown absolutely no intention of even retaining the position we achieved last season, let alone trying to go one better.
Yes some of our better players are on long contracts, but the intention of that is to grab more money when they are inevitably sold.
VVD will achieve a very healthy profit.

DPeps added 19:07 - Aug 16
IN THEORY, I'm not against selling Fonte for the right price.
IN PRACTICE, we have very little cover in CB position. We'd be mad to sell Fonte unless the club has a very competent replacement already lined up

SkateHater added 13:15 - Aug 17
Truth is the club has put itself in this position by getting player/managers here or keeping them here (short term) by marketing our club as a stepping stone, as this has clearly proven profitable. At 1st we were told this was part of a wider master plan, and that those departing would be replaced with the money generated from the sales, now the club doesn't even bother to put out a (Ralph Kruger "I promise the fans they will have a team to be excited about") statement to reassure fans, because a lot Saints fans are already mentally conditioned to the way the club want them to think. The club want us all to believe that we as a club know something nobody else does, and that by continually selling out best players at a profit (in addition to trousering tens of millions in tv money) we in some way fulfill our own ambitions, I don't believe that a feel they are simply profiteering from our fortunate recent success while they can, in short we are being short changed. In no other sports team I'm aware of, have you ever been able to improve you team year on year by removing it's strongest components. We are being sold a pup, where the f"*k is all the TV money going each year, as we don't even seem to reinvest all the money brought in, we have received millions more in income (fee's received mainly) yet as I sit here writing this we WBA bidding £21m for the calibration of player we should be signing how are all these sales in recent years are we in a position where we are fans know full well Saints wouldn't even make a bid that big it's embarrassing that we are being made to mindless simpletons who blindly believe anything our club tell us, remember how it went prior to Markus, he saved us not these people in charge of the club now, they are all just profiting from his legacy !!!

Cjay80 added 15:09 - Aug 17
So much negativity on this post and many others. I am a Saints fan and have been for nearly 30 years. I live quite a distance and only get to St Mary's once or twice a season but I for one am extremely proud of where we are, where we have come from, the players we have and the prospect of real European football this season. So what if we have to sell our best players to keep afloat. So what if we never break the wage structure for a marquee signing. Look at Villa, Newcastle, Forest. Big clubs in the Championship. Look at Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton. Big clubs with nothing to do on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night. We are in such a great position, I am happy and proud. I hope this journey continues and I have faith that it might just do that. COYS!

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