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Southampton defender flattered by Manchester United links

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Southampton captain Jose Fonte has admitted he’s flattered by Manchester United’s reported interest in his services, but has maintained he’s focused on his current club.

“If the interest in there, it is a reason to be flattered to be associated with a club like Manchester United,” Fonte told Mais Futebol.

“But I have a contract with Southampton, and I’m just focused on my work, to make a great season.

“I will not deny that Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and that it makes me happy to be associated with it. But to be Manchester United’s player is a big difference.”

Fonte has been linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer as Jose Mourinho is thought to be keen to add some experience to the United defense.

However, Southampton’s new manager, Claude Puel, has also shared his opinion on Fonte’s situation, saying he believes the defender will stay at the club.

“I do not think there is a possibility for Jose to leave us. I am sure that he can play all these games. He is very proficient,” Puel said.

“[Fonte has] rejoined training. I do not know if he will start the game [on Saturday] but we will see.

“The window is difficult for the club and the players. Many clubs can be interested in players. That is normal.”

The 32-year-old Portuguese centre-back played a big role in his country’s historic triumph at Euro 2016 earlier this summer.

United have also been linked with Raphael Varane and Leonardo Bonucci, but Fonte seems like a much more realistic target in this transfer window.

Southampton are constantly losing their best players and even though Fonte is their captain, he’s 32 years old and is likely to be available for a reasonable fee.

Signing Fonte would be a smart move. He has vast experience in English football and would also add leadership to the team’s defense.