West Ham poised to sign Jose Fonte from Southampton
Last Updated: 20/01/17 8:18am
West Ham are close to agreeing a deal to sign defender Jose Fonte from Southampton, according to Sky sources.
Talks continued on Thursday and a fee of £8m is being discussed for the 33-year-old, who helped Portugal to Euro 2016 glory last summer.
Fonte has been at Southampton since 2010, having joined from Crystal Palace, but expressed his desire to leave the club earlier this month.
Southampton manager Claude Puel confirmed at his press briefing on Thursday that Fonte could depart.
"Jose has different possibilities," said the Saints boss. "He has the solution and the opportunity to see this, and we will see what the situation is in a few days.
"He was in training this morning with the players and he works normally with good spirit, and like a professional."
Southampton have lost their last four Premier League games and Puel admits the speculation regarding Fonte's future has been a distraction.
"This situation with Jose is difficult for the squad," Puel said. "It's difficult for him also.
"It's not just about this market; it's been since the beginning of the season.
"It's been a difficult situation for Jose because he's always in discussions with the club, about contracts, or no contracts.
"I took a decision at the beginning of this window to keep Jose out the team, to study different possibilities, and to protect the team from all this speculation about Jose.
"With this many games it's important to keep focused about our game, not just on the situation of Jose. It's difficult, but the squad can take the responsibilities."