Arsenal are ready to offer stiff competition to Manchester United in the pursuit of Southampton defender José Fonte .
ESPN says the Red Devils have held secret negotiations with Southampton over a possible deal for their veteran captain. United boss Jose Mourinho is keen on recruiting an experienced centre-back before the transfer deadline, and Fonte is regarded as the preferred choice.
However, they could face a tussle with the Gunners, who are in dire need of defensive reinforcements after Gabriel and Per Mertesacker were sidelined with long-term injuries.
Arsene Wenger’s side have been in talks to sign Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi this summer, but his £30m valuation is well beyond the Gunners’ expectation.
And, this leaves Fonte as a viable option, given he is available for a fee of just £12m in the transfer window.
Southampton will listen to offers for the Portugal international as a sign of respect for what has done for the club over the years. The 32-year-old was part of Fernando Santos’ side that clinched the Euro 2016 title in France last month.