Southampton have received some overdue good news, as Jose Fonte has signed a new contract which times him to the club until 2017.
The Saints enjoyed a fine season last term when they finished eighth in the Premier League, but they have had very little to cheer from since. Not only has head coach Mauricio Pochettino left for Tottenham Hotspur, but Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren have joined Liverpool, whilst Luke Shaw has signed for Manchester United and Calum Chambers has been snapped up by Arsenal.
Morgan Schneiderlin is also pushing for an exit from St Mary’s, with Pochettino interested in taking him and Jay Rodriguez to White Hart Lane with him. However, with the new campaign now just days away, there is at least some good news for Saints fans to cheer about, with the confirmation that 30-year-old defender Fonte has signed a new deal which will commit him to the club for another three years.
“I’m very excited to be signing this new contract for another three years,” said the Portuguese. “This is where I feel at home. It was an easy decision. What made me sign was first we signed a very good manager, second, the fans have been great for me – they love me and I have a good relationship with them. And third we have a lot of quality in the team and we will try to do even better than last season if we can.”
Fonte has been at Southampton since joining from Crystal Palace in January 2010 for a fee of £800,000, and he has scored 13 times in 182 appearances. With Lallana heading to Liverpool, new coach Ronald Koeman has confirmed the central defender will be his captain this season, which kicks off at Anfield next Sunday afternoon.
Whilst the Saints have seen almost £100million swell their coffers due to the big-name departures this summer, Koeman has been able to spend around £20million of this so far. Playmaker Dusan Tadic has been signed from FC Twente for £10.9million, whilst striker Graziano Pelle arrives from Feyenoord for a little under £9million. Saphir Taider has been added to the squad from Internazionale in a deal which sees Dani Osvaldo head the other way in a straight swap, whilst defender Ryan Bertrand will spend the campaign on loan after agreeing a temporary switch from Chelsea.