Southampton manager Claude Puel has insisted the transfer speculation is not disturbing Jose Fonte and has also questioned the timing of the rumours linking the Portuguese international with a move to Manchester United.
Fonte has been heavily linked with a move to United in the past couple of weeks, but Puel is hopeful his captain will play at Old Trafford tomorrow.
“There is no problem with Jose, it is just strange that this rumour comes just before the game at United,” Puel said.
“There is a possibility that he may travel with us to Old Trafford.
“But he is a very good professional and he has played well in training sessions this week and it is important to have Jose with us, I hope, for the United game.
“Jose has good experience, so he cannot be disturbed by this rumour but I am just surprised to hear this before the game, two days before the match. But Jose is our captain and I’m sure he will be completely ready for this game.”
Fonte, who missed Southampton’s opening Premier League home draw with Watford last weekend, has reportedly been identified by Jose Mourinho as the man to add leadership and experience to the United defense.
The 32-year-old centre-back is yet to comment on his future, which only fuels the rumours.
If United’s interest in Fonte is genuine, this could be the Portuguese international’s last chance for a move to a big club as he’s 32 years old and his career is coming to an end.
He’d be a quality addition to the United team and would probably be fairly cheap as well.