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Fonte Airs His Frustration's !
Tuesday, 6th Dec 2016 13:39

Jose Fonte has shed some light on his situation since his return to St Mary's after the European Championships.

Jose Fonte has spoken out over his frustrations this season about not playing in Europe and also explains the subtle differences between what is and what isn't a new contract offer in his book.

Fonte admits he has been offered a significant pay rise but says that this does not constitute a new contract and he is at liberty to turn it down.

“I don’t know what they’re talking about,” Fonte said. “There’s no contract on the table.

“It is what it is, there’s nothing on the table that I didn’t sign. There was nothing there, to be honest.”

He added: “There was in the summer, they offered me a pay rise. They didn’t offer me a new contract.

“They offered me a pay rise which I’m entitled to discuss with my agent and entitled to say no to as well.

“I’m entitled to have my own opinion, so apart from that that’s it.”

This is rather strange from Fonte, if there was no new contract and it was merely a question of upping his wages, why on earth did he not accept it ? The fact is that it would not have changed anything in terms of his future at St Mary's, with the length of the current contract signed only last season remaining unchanged, it would have changed nothing in terms of another club coming in for him, so why did he not just accept what on the face of it seems to be a generous offer from Saints one that they did not need to make.

The situation is that Fonte will be approaching 35 when his current deal ends, you can understand why Saints would be happy to increase his wages till the summer of 2018 and why they would be loathe to be paying him big money in a season when he will turn 35.

All in all it seems nit picking by Fonte who is claiming a wage rise does not constitute a new deal merely an addendum to his current contract.

Whichever way it is not helping either the player of the club.

From a supporters point of view I cannot see what the club has done so wrong, I'm happy that they have offered Fonte a payrise to reward his performances in the Euro's, something they dd not have to do, and I can totally see why they would not want to pay him that sort of money past his 35th birthday.

Fonte's further frustrated by the fact that he isn't playing in the Europa League and this worryingly suggests that all is not well with the club and player.

“Of course I’m disappointed,” he said. “I want to play every game. I’m fit to play every game. I’m always on the dance floor – I’m always fit.

“I worked really hard last year to play Europa League.

“I worked really hard and obviously I’m disappointed, but I have to accept the decision from the manager and be ready when I am called to play.

“If I’m called to play Europa League, I will be there, as simple as that.”

“It is [frustrating], but it’s football, like the manager said, he wants people to be 100 per cent fit for every game. You have to accept the decision and move on.

“It’s a massive game [Hapoel] and I’m ready. We need to win this game.”

I am sure most Saints fans would agree that Fonte should partner Virgil Van Dijk against Happoel Be'er Sheva on Thursday, it is important that we put out our strongest side in a game that it is important that we don't concede a goal and that means the strongest defence.

Fonte has also urged Saints to get the basics right and “concentrate” after the defeat at his former club Crystal Palace.

“It was a lack of concentration, in my opinion, especially on the set-pieces you need to be 100 per cent at it and we conceded three goals from set-pieces.

“We need to put that right.

“Until the ball is dead you have to stay with your man. And that’s a basic and if we do the basics right we win games.”

Fonte is right about concentration, however he is not quite right saying all three goals came from set pieces at Palace, the first came as we passed back from a comfortable position on the half way line, the third came in open play that athough had started from a corner a minute earlier had moved on.

All in all though Fonte's words indicate a player that is not happy with his lot, although you could say that he was very happy with his contract last season when he signed it so what is the problem in being offered a pay rise when there was no compulsion for the club to do so ?

Perhaps the biggest clue came in the sentence

"“They offered me a pay rise which I’m entitled to discuss with my agent and entitled to say no to as well."

The agent Jorge Mendes clearly feels that Fonte could get more money and for a longer term than he is getting at Saints elsewhere.

Strangely Mendes's best mate Jose Mourinho seems to want to offer Fonte just that sort of deal, something that Manchester United fan's cannot seem to comprehend and have asked why a club with their money would want to spend it on a 33 year old when they can have the pick of much younger options.

Strange things have happened with Fonte of late, all Saints fans would prefer to see Fonte happy at the club and finish his career here, but that does not mean we pay him wages far in excess of his value to the club.

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stmichael added 13:45 - Dec 6
says Nick the new "Press Officer" at Southampton FC.

SaintNick added 14:00 - Dec 6
So you think Jose Fonte should be given an extended deal that would make him one of the highest earners at 35/36.

This is one of the players that has all you bedwetters bedwetting

dirk_doone added 14:16 - Dec 6
Love the picture of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who is 3 years older than Fonte, and has scored more goals this season than all of our strikers combined. I bet Man United regret signing him when they could have got a youngster like Redmond.

SaintNick added 14:27 - Dec 6
2 years and 2 months older to be exact, you have actually answered my very question here, United signed Abramovich on a free transfer for £200 k per week wages, why would they try and sign Fonte on £80k per week when they can pay for quality

steve73 added 14:28 - Dec 6
Turning down the pay rise / contract offer is entirely up to him but why does that mean it's logical to sell him in January? Make more sense to buy a replacement in January and let Jose go in the summer even if for a couple of million less to allow for a more seamless transition. Transfer fees seem almost arbitrary these days anyway and given how much it's raked in in the past couple of years the club can easily absorb the cost. The value of a player is subjective anyway, and the cash value of a player is an utterly boring subject that too many football fans waste time on, myself included. If only the football was more entertaining.

landerwal added 14:32 - Dec 6
If Fonte does go to Man U, he'll bolster the number of ex saints players sitting on the bench to three. At least they 'll have at least one topic of conversation, about their good times at St Mary's when they were team regulars, not overpaid part timers.

ChristchurchSaint added 15:00 - Dec 6
I have very mixed views on this one. I agree that Fonte has been a good servant to the club, but it does strike me that he is cutting off his nose to spite his face. He is offered a pay rise, but throws his toys out because he is not offered an extension! His current contract takes him to 34 and 6/7 months, so realistically should we offer him longer, knowing that already he occasionally shows signs of not being able to give 100% at every game. (Lack of concentration and shirt pulling). The interesting question is- has he been given the nod from his agent as to how much/how long MU or Everton would offer. Would it be 2 years ( only 6 months longer than his current contract) and would they offer much extra salary for a 33 year old player?

SanMarco added 15:04 - Dec 6
"when they can pay for quality" - Do you not think Fonte is quality Nick?

I laughed out loud at your superb post dirk...

SaintNick added 15:31 - Dec 6
If Manchester United want to win titles they need to revert to what they used to do and that is paying top dollar for the top players, Fonte is a quality central defender for a side with aspirations for 6-10th place, but can you name one team that would sign him who are genuinely looking to finish in the top four ? (United with the obvious dubious links between manager and agent excepted)


BoondockSaint added 16:40 - Dec 6
"...aspirations for 6-10th place." Is exactly the reason he would move: No ambition as evidenced by not trying to hold on to quality players that you have claimed are "easily replaced"

1970 added 17:26 - Dec 6
None of this explains why he hasn't been picked for the Europa so he turned down what ever was on the table who cares he's still our player and we need him, any one thinking we can turn up for any game outside of league 1 with Yoshida playing is a complete fool, I hope he plays Thurs but you can see in his body language he's not happy, the situation needs sorting quickly coyr.

saintmark1976 added 18:16 - Dec 6
Please people, don't let this site loose it's reputation for tolerance of others point of view. I personally think that some of Nick's posts and responses recently give the impression that he is indeed the press officer for S F C. However I am certain that this is not the case. Equally Nick and with respect, there really is no need for you to respond to everyone who does not hold your point of view either.

At the end of the day we are all Saints fans and that is all that is important.

stmichael added 18:33 - Dec 6
He's s European Champion FFs of course he's quality.
It would cost us 15 million to replace him properly,
Pay him what he deserves.

SaintBrock added 18:41 - Dec 6
Well 1970, since everything is based on rumour and speculation let's suppose Reed has told Puel to "seriously piss off Jose Fonte".

A peanuts pay-rise... was it 50p a week ? Leave him out of the one competition that he has set his heart on playing in?

OK Fair do's, why would Reed want to piss him off? Why would he want Jose out?

Maybe to help drive him into the arms of a rich suitor.... or something more sinister in the power play behind the scenes? I don't know obviously but why not throw a few more red herrings into the mix. These things are very seldom as simply black & white as they are dressed up to be.

SanMarco added 21:37 - Dec 6
I do think that Fonte could do a job for a top four/five side. I don't think that many sides have 3 better CBs than him so he would be a first reserve and get quite a few games and maybe a medal.

Now I have had a chance to calm down and digest this news (if, of course, it is news!) then I agree with steve73. Leave it until the summer. Perhaps we will then be offering CL through a Europa League win...

steadyeddie added 23:28 - Dec 6
If it was me, I would say - Jose, thanks for everything, but you really are looking silly over this. Turning down a wage increase?
You can go to Man Utd, and will get the same deal as we are offering you..and play less football than you are at the moment.
Will they offer you a 2 and half year deal, at your age?
Look at Morgan, cant even get on the Bench!

REEDYREEDOREEDZ added 10:32 - Dec 7
My opinion is that Fonte wants to play for Mourinho at Man Utd and was angling for a move in the summer, helped along by his new agent Mendes. That's why he turned down our pay rise, he wants to leave for one last big pay day.
Saints aren't playing him in the Europa League because Man Utd have most likely been in contact and said 'we will only buy him in January if he isn't cup tied'. Mourinho wants him because Fonte is a leader and an organiser, something Man Utd lack in defence.
In the 18 months before the Euro's Fonte had been struggling at times for Saints, he always seemed to be on the edge of giving a penalty away or getting skinned. I think he's past his best although he's been playing well this year.
Saints will have a replacement lined up to bring in in January. A younger player with big potential, most likely on the fringes of a very big team, in the same way that Lovren, Alderwiereld, Romeu, Bertrand and Hoijberg were.

ExiledSupporter added 11:25 - Dec 7
Reedy, unfortunately I suspect that they will let Fonte go in January and defer a decision on a replacement until the summer, deciding that Yoshida and Gardos (when fit) or the young reserve centreback who gets positive reviews (sorry, can't remember his name) will suffice for the present. I think Puel rates Yoshida, and to be fair to the guy, he has played better this season than any other season.

That would be proof positive that we would be confirmed as a selling club, plus the distinct possibility that we would be forced to sell the best centreback we have ever had (in VVD) for a paltry £25m, if the rumours of a release clause are true. Plus some money that we would have to pay to Celtic (as a % of on-sale profit.

Ironic all this when we should be focused on getting a reliable striker!!!

If the definition of being a selling club is the high incidence of player turnover, players leaving for higher wages and to larger clubs and a refusal by the owners to spend any of the Sky income on transfer fees (limited to only what we make in profits on departing players and no more, as practiced repeatedly for the last three seasons) then we are a selling club. The owners put more store on cash in the bank and their own dividends than genuinely establishing ourselves as, at least, a top 8 club.

REEDYREEDOREEDZ added 12:03 - Dec 7
Exliled. We have a business model where we know where we are in the football world. In England there is the big six, which at the moment is impenetrable. If you are not in the Champions League on a regular basis then you will always lose players to the big six or other European giants.
The fact is that Saints aren't in the big six and cannot breach that and will never compete alongside them. We would need a Man City style takeover where the owners pump a billion pounds into the club to compete with the big guns and get to their level.
Therefore Saints can't keep hold of every player, so all they can do is get the highest price possible for them, which is what they have done well in recent years. Saints have brought really well in this period also, with only a few failures, probably 80% of their signings in the last five years have been excellent.
I don't believe that there's a £25m release clause in VVD's contract. He only signed it six months ago and Saints would've been well aware that he's worth a lot more than that. Maybe there was a clause in his original contract and Saints took it out of the latest one or upped it to £50m.
You call Saints a selling club but we have no choice, we can't keep them and if we do then they just leave on free transfer. Its testament to how well Saints have brought that we continue to do well and that big clubs want to buy our players. We buy young players full of potential for reasonable prices and sell for as high as possible. That's our business model. It has to be, we have no choice, we can't keep top class players. VVD will sold in the summer for £50m to one of the best clubs in the world. He wouldn't look out of place at Barcelona, he's that good and that's why we can't keep him. Let's hope the January replacement is another top class centre back like VVD, Lovren or Alderwiereld.

BoondockSaint added 13:52 - Dec 7
Reedy- the frustration is we can't hold on to ANY

BoondockSaint added 14:00 - Dec 7
-Player (sorry browser is really acting up!) but Leicester can.

We have gone from an up-and-coming team that was lots of fans 'second favourite' to a punchline.

REEDYREEDOREEDZ added 15:56 - Dec 7
Leicester won the league and then lost Kante to Chelsea. Vardy was on the verge of joining Arsenal but chose to stay at Leicester. I wonder how he's feeling about that decision now.

The trouble is players have agents talking in their ear, telling them how they owe it to themselves to play for the best club possible, to earn as much money possible, to play in Europe, to win silverware, to become a mainstay in the national team etc etc.
Players are also tapped up by existing players at the buying club saying come and play for us, its great here, we can show you the best restaurants/night outs/places to stay/things to do etc etc
Players aren't given good advice, especially young players. That's why Le Tissier and Benali have set up that agency where they will give advice on what's best for a player's career rather than just their bank balance. Shaw, Chambers, Oxlade-Chamberlain, even Walcott would've been better off staying at Southampton for a couple more years to play regularly and improve their game. Same can be said about John Stones and dozens of others. These players make the big move and its a bad decision, but that will never change. We simply can't hold on to our best players, they will go. I can't name a single Saints player that wouldn't go to Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City or Man Utd if they had the chance. That's the reality.
The next one will be Ward-Prowse. As soon as he starts taking a few of his chances, scores some goals, makes the headlines, the press will go mad, he'll get an England call up, he'll be dubbed the complete midfielder and England's future and because he's English someone like Man City will pay £30m for him, which is good business for another youth academy player and the club will dub it a success.

aceofthebase added 16:32 - Dec 7
Reedy, final para I do hope so!

LordDZLucan added 16:55 - Dec 7
The one unknown in all of this is who has got what release clause in their contract. Whatever has been written into the contract in terms of when the clause can be activated and what the release fee will be will drive both the club's and the player's behavior. My guess is that Jose and Virgil both have release clauses that become active next summer and it's therefore a case of the club testing the market now to see if its better off selling in January than waiting for the inevitable departures next summer.

schatfield added 17:35 - Dec 7
I do believe that we havent played Fonte in Europe so he isnt cup tied and will be gone in January. To be honest, not fussed, as one person noted above he has made a lot of rash decisions and got lucky not to concede more penalties. I will be more concerned when VVD eventually goes.

Anyway as for Fonte replacement, I think they will be looking to Jack Stephens from the academy, although I am surprised he hasnt been blooded in the first team yet

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