Southampton defender Jose Fonte is flattered to be associated with Manchester United and terms the club as “one of the biggest clubs in the world”.

The 32-year old is speculated to leave Southampton in favour of Manchester United as new manager Jose Mourinho is keen to add an experienced central defender to his roster before the end of current transfer window.

The defender, who have featured in Euro final for Portugal after helping them win their first major trophy, is one of the best central defenders available in the market. But the player admits that he is focused on Southampton for the upcoming season.

Fonte said: “If the interest is there, it is a reason to be flattered to be associated with a club like Manchester United.

“But I have a contract with Southampton, and I’m just focused on my work, to make a great season. I will not deny that Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and that it makes me happy to be associated with it. But to be Manchester United’s player is a big difference.”

New Southampton coach Claude Puel feels that the Portuguese defender will not leave the club this summer as the veteran defender is an integral part of his plans for the upcoming season.

Puel said: “I do not think there is a possibility for Jose to leave us. I am sure that he can play all these games. He is very proficient.

“[Fonte has] rejoined training. I do not know if he will start the game [on Saturday] but we will see.

“The window is difficult for the club and the players. Many clubs can be interested in players. That is normal.”

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