Arsenal have widened their search for a central defender and have approached Southampton for their Portuguese international Jose Fonte.
Fonte is keen to join the Gunners arch rivals Manchester United but has received an approach from the North London club, according to ESPN.
Jose Mourinho is said to be in the market for an experienced leader with Fonte certainly fitting that criteria, the Red Devils have opened informal talks for the Saints player who is expected to play for the club at Old Trafford as the teams meet on Friday evening.
The 32-year-old Euro 2016 winner is thought to be open to an idea of moving to a ‘bigger club’ after a very successful summer but Southampton will be reluctant to sell their captain after another squad exodus this summer.
United have already forked out for Eric Bailly who has impressed tremendously in his first couple of games for the club, but the United manager is eager to add the experience at the back which Fonte portrays.
Arsenal is in a defensive crisis with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista set for a lengthy spell on the side line. The Gunners are chasing Shkodran Mustafi who remains the clubs first choice defender but are dithering on the price set by Valencia, the Spanish side are demanding in excess of £30 million for their star defender with the Gunners rating Mustafi around the £20 million mark, personal terms have been agreed between the player and the club but a massive sticking point is agreeing the fee.
The Gunners are certainly looking for alternatives with Fonte emerging as a potential target, he has two years remaining on his current contract with the Saints and the club would command a fee of around £10 million, which would make him a much cheaper option to Mustafi who is already Premier League proven.
Bad news for Arsenal is he is keen to link up with Portuguese compatriot Mourinho at Old Trafford, but good news for the Gunners faithful they’re in the market and working hard to bring players in before the transfer market closes.
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