Jose Fonte is hoping to lure Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario to Southampton despite interest from Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Saints skipper spoke out following speculation that the 23-year-old midfielder is being tracked by several top Premier League clubs this summer after an impressive campaign in Portugal, where he helped his side finish just two points behind champions Benfica.
It is being reported that Jose Mourinho will look to snap up Mario as soon as he is installed as United boss this week, while his former club Chelsea are also said to be tracking the player ahead of Antonio Conte’s arrival in the Stamford Bridge hot seat later this summer.
Mario is said to have a release clause of £46.4million, which would probably be prohibitive to the Saints, but it has not stopped Fonte from insisting that he will do all he can to try and persuade his fellow Portugal international team-mate to move to St Mary’s.
“I think he should go to Southampton!” he told Portuguese publication Mais Futebol.
“He’s a great player, with great quality, he’s said to be going to England, and has the quality for Manchester United or Chelsea. I’ll make everything so he can come to Southampton. Let’s see.”