Jose Fonte has decided to extend his stay with the Saints and has signed a new contract to almost double his current wages at the St Mary's, rejecting advances from Manchester United over a transfer. The Portuguese defender was heavily linked with a move out of the club but his decision to stay will come as a major boost for the management, who have already lost a few key players this summer.
The Mirror reports that a deal has been agreed to take his wages from £45,000 ($59,429) a week to £70,000, which has convinced Fonte to extend his association with the Saints. Jose Mourinho wanted an experienced player at the back to play alongside Chris Smalling or Eric Bailly, and Fonte's performance for Southampton last season, followed by his title clinching performance for Portugal in the Euros, went a long way in inducing United's interest. Arsenal were also interested in the defender but decided to move for Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia as the answer to their needs at the back.
"The situation of Jose is now finished and he is back to normal. Jose is now concentrating just on his football and his team. He had a good discussion with the director of football, with the chairman and now everything is all OK," Claude Puel said in a press conference.
"For Jose it was important for us, for me, to keep him in the squad because he is a good personality, a good professional and has good leadership qualities. It was important to listen to Jose and understand his position and have time to speak – but now is the time to play and there is no problem with this."
United have already made four signings this summer, including a world record deal for Paul Pogba, and their investment is paying dividends on the pitch, with the Red Devils having won both their games thus far in the league. On the other hand, Southampton have qualified for the Europa League for the first time in their history courtesy their sixth place finish in the league last season. Both United and Southampton will be up for the draw this Friday to know who they will face in the group stages of the competition.