Everton have lodged a £9m bid for experienced Southampton defender Jose Fonte, as they look to prepare for life after the inevitable sale of John Stones. But Everton have competition in the form of Manchester United as Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen on bringing the Portuguese to Old Trafford. He is more experienced than any of the defenders Mourinho has inherited from Louis Van Gaal’s squad and after spending four consecutive seasons in the Premier League it will be a good option for the player.
Meanwhile, Everton have been plagued by defensive frailties ever since Roberto Martinez took over at the club, putting stress on attacking football but rarely focusing on defence. And Everton are having to pay the price for not having a long-term plan in place regarding their defence leaving Ronald Koeman with an ageing backline to fix. With Stones on his way out, he will be left with Jagielka and Funes-Mori as the only recognised central defenders in the squad. Jagielka, 33 cannot be relied upon with such a heavy workload leading to the need for urgent defensive reinforcements.
Everton have to rectify their lapses at the back and improve upon the damning statistic of having the sixth worst defensive record in the league. Koeman has been brought in to bring stability to the club and mould it according to his preference so that they are able to reach a position to challenge for the Top 6 at the least.
Ronald Koeman has targeted Fonte, who he made the captain at Southampton, and will look to continue their impressive collaboration at Goodison Park. José Miguel da Rocha Fonte, or simply known as Jose Fonte started his professional career with Sporting B, moving to England with Crystal Palace in 2007. In 2010 he signed with Southampton, where he has made over 250 appearances across all competitions.
He has been an integral part of Southampton having experienced League One football with them as well as qualifying for the Europa League. His height and defensive awareness has helped him in his longevity in this frenetic league and he will offer leadership from the back as well. The Portugal international signed a revised three-year contract last October on the condition that the club would not stand in his way should he receive a superior offer from elsewhere.
And the loyal servant to the South-Coast club seems to be finally getting his due and after having won the Euro 2016 with Portugal, his demand is at an all-time high. A fresh challenge at Everton will be welcome for the player and his previous history with Koeman will aid in Everton’s quest to land their man.