According to the reports from ESPN FC, Arsenal have is keen to sign Southampton defender Jose Fonte. The 32-year old is a key target for Manchester United as the Red Devils have already made informal talks with the club earlier in the week.

The 32-year old has emerged as a cheap and realistic target for Jose Mourinho as the new manager is keen to sign an experienced defender with an official bid expected next week.

However, Jose Mourinho needs to sell some of his unwanted players before making a move for Fonte. The Red Devils already have a number of options in central defense with the likes of  Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind and Phil Jones. Young starlet Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has also featured as a centre back last season under Louis van Gaal. However, he is expected to leave the club on a season-long loan deal before the end of the transfer window.

Meanwhile, Arsenal was struck with a major blow when their defensive leader Per Mertesacker was injured and could not return to action till next year. The absence of Mertesacker has affected Arsenal defense in the season opener against Liverpool as they lost by 4-3.

Arsene Wenger is under huge pressure to sign a quality centre back and the deal of Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi is yet to be finalized. Fonte who has recently won Euro 2016 is one of the most sought out defenders in the market and a cheaper option available as he could be available for as less as £8m.

A move to Manchester United or Arsenal would be great for the veteran defender but the chance to work under his Portuguese compatriot would play a part in the deal. But Southampton is keen to hold on their star defender as new coach Claude Puel is not willing to let him go.

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