Contract talks between Southampton and Jose Fonte have reportedly broken down with Manchester United continuing to monitor the situation.
According to The Sun, the 33-year-old was offered a new £80,000-a-week contract by the Saints, which in turn would make him the club’s highest-paid player.
However, the issue is over the length of the deal, with Southampton failing to offer an extension beyond how far his current contract runs.
That in turn has led to talks breaking down, and with United keen on the Portuguese international, it may see the experienced centre-half leave St. Mary’s and make the switch to Manchester to work with compatriot Jose Mourinho.
It’s also added that tensions are high between the two parties as Southampton failed to inform their club captain about a £9m bid from Everton in the summer.
Claude Puel will be desperate to avoid seeing any of his influential players leave the club, although Southampton have shown an exceptional ability in recent years to replace and rebuild and remain a top club in the Premier League.
Nevertheless, losing Fonte, who has been an integral part of their success over a number of years now would be a major setback, and as noted by The Sun, defensive partner Virgil van Dijk is also being linked with an exit which would be a disaster for the Saints.
In complete contrast, it would be an excellent move from Mourinho and United to bring in a reliable and experienced leader in defence to solve their current issues.
With Eric Bailly away on international duty through January for the Africa Cup of Nations, and with question marks still hanging over the likes of Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling, Fonte would be a quality signing to add some solidity to the backline.