9 Jan 2017

Boss Confirms: 'Amazing' £70k-a-week star is out of Liverpool-Southampton game. Massive transfer hint?

Liverpool face Southampton on Wednesday, and Claude Puel has already confirmed that one of Saints' most important players will miss the game.

Last week, Southampton's director of football Les Reed confirmed:

"Jose Fonte wants to leave the club, and he's formally asked for a transfer".

When asked today about Wednesday's game against Liverpool, Puel told reporters:

"Jose will not participate for this game. We'll see for the next game. It's important to keep stability".

When pressed about whether Fonte will leave during the January transfer window, Puel added:

"We do not know the future of Jose. It's a difficult situation [but] it's also an opportunity for Jose to view different opportunities".

In light of Liverpool's alleged interest, it's possible that Puel has withdrawn Fonte (at the Reds' request) ahead of a potential transfer to Anfield. Other clubs have taken similar action in the past ahead of potential transfers, but given his age, a move to Anfield seems unlikely. Manchester United are also reportedly interested, and with fellow Portuguese Jose Mourinho at the helm, a move to Old Trafford seems a more likely scenario.

Transfer speculation aside, Fonte's absence is arguably big boost for Liverpool. The Portuguese remains a top defender, and without his stabilising influence in the side, the Reds may have a slightly better chance of winning the game.

* Jan 2017: Described by Cedric Soares as 'amazing' player and a 'positive' influence on the team. Reportedly on £70k-a-week at Southampton


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