Arsenal have joined the race for Southampton captain Jose Fonte, and will have to compete with Manchester United for the Portugal international’s signature
The 2016-17 season has begun, 11 goals were scored in 2 games on Sunday, and Arsenal faced the wrath of their ever evolving curse of injuries. Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi both walked out in Arsenal’s opening fixture against Liverpool, which the Gunners lost 3-4 to the visitors.
Arsene Wenger later admitted that he made a ‘gamble’ fielding Aaron Ramsey for this game, considering he came in late from the Euros and might not have been ready for this one.
Further, the manager’s cause was not helped for he was forced to field an inexperienced duo in Calum Chambers and Rob Holding at the heart of defense, the latter having never played in the Premier League before.
In this context, Arsenal have been (reportedly) trying to move fast in the transfer market as two urgent transfers need to completed if the Gunners wish to compete with their Premier League rivals for the title, or for that matter (and what is now seemingly becoming a concern as well), a champion’s league spot.
Apart from their long drawn hunt for a striker, Arsenal have been chasing Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi. Additionally, Arsenal are also looking elsewhere for a defender as well.
ESPN has now reported that Arsenal will compete with Manchester United for the signature of Southampton’s captain and central defender Jose Fonte.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is keen to add an experienced central defender to his squad having already bought Eric Bailly from Villareal CF.
However, United will have to sell at least one player in their current squad to make room for Fonte. Mourinho currently has Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Daley Blind to play at the heart of defense, as well as Marco Rojo, who can play at centre back in addition to his natural position which is left back.
It is likely that it is the Argentine that United will try and sell to make room for Fonte.
However, Arsenal need a defender a lot more urgently with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista both out with injuries. The Gunners would have to strategically make an offer for Fonte if they really are so keen to bring him on board.
The Mirror has further reported that Manchester United could offer Marco Rojo to Southampton in a player + cash or player-for-player swap deal, possibly giving them an upper hand. Besides, it is also certain that Manchester United will offer the Portuguese higher wages.
While the circumstances surrounding a possible deal for Fonte indicate that United have an upper hand, Arsenal could make an offer Fonte would not like to refuse ( Champion’s League Football for instance). Do you think he would make a good signing for Arsenal?