Everton’s English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (L) vies with Southampton’s Portuguese defender Jose Fonte during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on January 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS /
Southampton captain Jose Fonte has made an official transfer request, the club said on Thursday, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City all linked with the central defender.
The 33-year-old Portuguese international could move away from St Mary’s in this transfer window because he has only 18 months left on his current contract and Southampton director of football Les Reed said he had rejected an improved deal — a claim the player rejects.
“He’s had several opportunities to improve the contract situation. He’s reserved his right not to do that,” Reed told BBC Radio Solent.
“He’s made it very clear he would like to explore the opportunities for a transfer. That’s where we are at the moment, Jose wants to leave the club. He’s formally asked for a transfer.”
Underlining the discord between player and club, Fonte, who joined from Crystal Palace in 2010, wrote on Instagram last month: “Just to set the record straight: I did not reject a new contract.
“In fact, I have been informed by Southampton that they are not offering me a new contract.”