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Home Sport Football

West Ham sell Fonte to Chinese club Dalian Yifeng

The 34-year-old Portuguese defender has not played for the Hammers since October.

West Ham have cut their losses on defender Jose Fonte by selling him to Chinese club Dalian Yifeng.

The 34-year-old Portuguese defender has not played for the Hammers since October due to an ankle injury which required surgery.

A reported fee of £5million gave West Ham the chance to recoup a chunk of the £8million they paid to Southampton for Fonte in January 2017.

“Jose wanted to take it, he’s 34 years old and he felt that it was the right thing for his career at this time,” said manager David Moyes.

“It gives him the chance to try something new. He wants to get in the Portuguese national team for the World Cup and he felt if he was playing regularly it would give him a better chance.

“He’s just back from injury and in a condition to play so we wish him good luck, and he’s been a great professional since I’ve been here.”

Winston Reid’s return from a spell out meant Moyes could afford to offload Fonte, with the New Zealander back in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Liverpool along with midfielder Manuel Lanzini.

Moyes gained some creditable draws at Anfield during his spell in charge at Everton, but a victory has remained elusive in 14 attempts as a manager.

“It’s tough for any club going to Liverpool,” added the Scot.

“It always has been and I’ve never known it any different as a fan, player or manager, everybody finds it tough going to Anfield so it will be a tough game but we are looking forward to it.

“In my last two seasons at Everton I finished above them, so I will always remember that.

“Over the years I have done my best to get wins there, which has been hard, but finishing above them was nice

“We’ve got a bit of confidence, we’re in a good run of form ourselves but it will be a big test.”

West Ham have an unlikely addition to their fan base after England rugby boss Eddie Jones this week revealed he grew up supporting the Hammers from the other side of the world.

Irons coach Stuart Pearce joined the national squad at their Pennyhill Park training base on Tuesday, and Moyes has invited Jones to watch his side train.

“I was due to be with the rugby team on Tuesday but unfortunately I couldn’t get there, but Eddie’s going to come and watch us train in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to having him here and finding out he’s a West Ham fan is even better.

“I think Eddie Jones is one of the finest coaches in what he does. His management skills, his ability to win – he’s done something really special with the rugby team.

“But I still hope Scotland beat England this weekend.”

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