Arsenal enter race to sign Jose Fonte; Man Utd offer Marcos Rojo in exchange deal


Arsenal have approached Southampton in their bid to sign Portuguese centre back Jose Fonte, according to the ESPN.

Arsene Wenger is keen to make defensive reinforcements before 31 August after facing injury setbacks to Per Mertesacker, who has been sidelined for several months due to his knee injury and Gabriel, who will miss at least a month’s action.

The Gunners remain in talks with Valencia to sign German International Shkodran Mustafi but are reluctant to meet the La Liga club’s £30 million asking price.

While, The North London club have also reportedly approached Barcelona for Jeremy Mathieu after failing to reach agreement with Valencia but the Spanish champions have refused to sell the French defender.

And Southampton’s central defender Jose Fonte has now emerged as the latest transfer target for Arsenal, who are desperate to bolster their backline this summer.

Fonte signed a new £45,000-a-week contract with the Saints only last year but the 32-year-old has now been offered a new and lucrative £70,000-a-week contract to keep him away from Premier League giants’ clutches.

But the Portugal International appears likely to leave Southampton this summer, amid interest from a host of elite clubs including Manchester United and Everton.

Man Utd reportedly tabled a £8 million bid to Southampton last week but reports now suggest that they are preparing to offer Argentine defender Marcos Rojo in exchange deal to sign Fonte.

Rojo, who can operate as a centre back or a full back, has been taunted as surplus to requirements in Jose Mourinho’s plans at Old Trafford and could be a key figure in the deal as Man Utd look to sign a second defender this summer following the arrival of Eric Bailly from Villarreal.

However, unlikely to Mustafi’s transfer saga, Arsenal are prepared to meet Southampton’s valuation for Fonte and could lure the strong defender by guaranteeing regular football, something Jose Mourinho will fail to offer the 32-year-old at Man Utd.

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