Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Jose Fonte and Blaise Matuidi Rumours

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2016

Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) vies with Southampton's Portuguese defender Jose Fonte during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 19, 2016. / AFP / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
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Manchester United summer transfer target Jose Fonte and the agent of Blaise Matuidi have addressed rumours linking the players with moves away from Southampton and Paris Saint-Germain, respectively.

Saints defender Fonte was "strongly linked" with a transfer to join countryman Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, per Mark Brus of Metro, but the move didn't materialise, forcing the Euro 2016 winner to remain on the south coast. 

Brus quoted the Portugal international hinting at his disappointment at not arriving at the Theatre of Dreams: "Was I disappointed the Man United move didn’t happen? Let’s leave that for another time. Now I’m focused on Southampton. I’ve lots of targets: to play in the [UEFA] Champions League, to play in a World Cup, to win a trophy in England."

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) vies with Southampton's Portuguese defender Jose Fonte (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, o
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The 32-year-old would have brought knowledge and experience to a United back four lacking in Premier League experience and recent game time.

Fonte has proved to be a consistent operator at St Mary's, and his cautious style would have made him a popular individual in Mourinho's defensive tactics.

The player started four matches at Euro 2016 in France, according to WhoScored.com, as his nation sprinted to a shocking tournament win against the odds.

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Matuidi's representative has also gone public about his client's unhappiness at remaining at PSG when United and Chelsea were both interested in the midfielder.

France's midfielder Paul Pogba (L) and France's midfielder Blaise Matuidi are accompanied by children as they arrive for a training session in Clairefontaine en Yvelines on June 6, 2016, four days ahead of the beginning of the Euro 2016 European football
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Superagent Mino Raiola told Premium Sport his client is upset that PSG have opted to keep the talent at the Ligue 1 champions (h/t George Bellshaw of Metro).

"[Matuidi] is very disappointed to have been taken off of the market by PSG," Raiola said. "Now we will talk with the club and see. We are all surprised by their withdrawal from negotiations."

Raiola also represents recent United signings Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and was the architect behind the deals that took the pair to the Premier League giants.

Matiudi partnered Pogba at the Euros for France and arguably had the better tournament of the duo in central midfield, appearing in seven games at the tournament on home soil, per WhoScored.com.

Here is the PSG man in action:

Matiudi's arrival at United would have been unlikely after the capture of Pogba, but Mourinho would have appreciated his energy as the coach assessed his options during the summer window.

United's depth in central defence has been compromised since the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, forcing Daley Blind to covert from midfield to become a centre-back last year.

The Netherlands international has excelled in his role over the past 12 months but certainly does not possess the physicality Mourinho demands of his players in the position.

Fonte was a ready-made solution for United as they invested big sums in their midfield and attacking areas.

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