Jose Fonte’s potential move to Manchester United could pave the way for Jose Mourinho to continue clearing the deck, according to latest reports.
Despite signing Eric Bailly at the start of the summer, the Portuguese tactician is keen to continue to strengthen his back four.
Southampton’s Fonte has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford and Mourinho wants to make him his fifth signing.
And the Manchester Evening News claim that should United sign Fonte, it could spark a defensive exodus.
Phil Jones it is thought, could head for the exit, with Stoke believed to be interested.
It is thought Bailly, Blind and Smalling are all ahead of Jones in the pecking order.
The report goes on to suggest that Marcos Rojo could be sold by United. Rojo has already been told that he can find a new club, but the 26-year-old last month reportedly turned down a lucrative move to China.
It will further complicate Jose Mourinho’s efforts to rebuild his United defence.
Daily Star the Argentine snubbed an offer from Chinese Super League heavyweights Shanghai SIPG.
Fonte hasn’t hidden his admiration for United as he stated: “If the interest is there it is a reason to be flattered to be associated with a club like Manchester United.
“I will not deny that Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and that makes me happy to be associated with it.”
Seriously concerned with the quality of defenders in the squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal, Mourinho is keen to add an experienced central defender and may also strengthen at right back.
But for that he must reduce the number of senior players at the club before spending in the transfer market again.