Jose Mourinho’s spending spree at Manchester United has come to a juddering halt.
The Old Trafford hierarchy has demanded that the wage bill be trimmed before the Portuguese is allowed to bring any new players in, leaving him frustrated in his pursuit of Southampton’s Jose Fonte, 32.
Mourinho is keen to add experience to his back four with Eric Bailly, 23, still adjusting to English football. Fonte, a member of Portugal’s victorious Euro 2016 team, has been a long-term target.
Southampton however, are keen to keep hold of their captain and have offered Fonte a new contract. Whilst the experienced centre back is mulling over the offer, he remains open to a move to Old Trafford.
With his higher profile, other clubs are also interested.
Arsenal, with their own defensive crisis to solve, are keeping their options open and have already enquired with the Saints about Fonte’s availability.
Whilst Arsène Wenger would prefer a younger solution, he is open to bringing an experienced centre back to cover the injuries which have struck at the Emirates.
Fonte is in no rush to sign a new deal with the transfer deadline over a week away. Mourinho has already loaned and sold a handful of youngsters this summer but it is the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, 32, and Juan Mata, 28, who will make the most difference.
As of yet, neither has attracted firm interest in their services.
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