Southampton boss Claude Puel has questioned the timing of rumours linking Jose Fonte with Manchester United ahead of Friday’s clash.
Speculation this week has suggested that United are interested in snapping up Fonte from the Saints and are prepared to offer them Marcos Rojo in a player-plus-cash deal.
Fonte is reportedly open to the idea of moving to Old Trafford but would also be prepared to stay, claiming on Monday that he is “happy” with life on the south coast.
His manager Puel says he is paying little attention to the transfer speculation surrounding the Portuguese defender and has instead suggested United have planted the rumours to unsettle Fonte ahead of Southampton’s trip to Old Trafford on Friday.
“It is just a rumour. Jose is our captain, there is no problem with Jose. [It is] just strange to see this rumour, just before the game against United,” he said.
“It’s a possibility it comes from United. There is no problem with Jose. He is a very good professional. It’s important to have him with us and I hope against United.”