Jose Fonte hands in transfer request at Southampton
Southampton captain Jose Fonte has handed in a transfer request.
Press Association Sport understands the central defender has asked to leave having chosen not to sign the new contract he had been offered.
Despite suggestions Southampton were prepared only to give Fonte an increased salary and not a lengthier term, the club are adamant he has rejected a 12-month extension to the present one he signed in October 2015 and which expires in 18 months.
The development is only the latest surrounding the 33-year-old's future. It is also understood he asked to leave last summer, when he was a reported transfer target for Manchester United, who have been left with only three fit senior central defenders since Ivorian Eric Bailly's call up to the African Nations Cup.
At present, there is no firm interest in a player who has made 288 appearances since joining Southampton from Crystal Palace seven years ago and who has been significant in their revival from League One to the Europa League.
He wrote on Instagram last month: "Just to set the record straight I did not reject a new contract. In fact, I have been informed by Southampton that they are not offering me a new contract."
Compatriot Cedric Soares, a team-mate for club and for Portugal, last week said Fonte "should do the best for himself", while United manager Jose Mourinho said he is not "chasing" new signings.