Everton boss Ronald Koeman is ready to make a move for wantaway Southampton captain Jose Fonte, after he was left out of their EFL Cup tie against Liverpool.
Southampton boss Claude Puel admitted earlier this week that the Saints are prepared to listen to offers for their 33-year-old Portuguese international.
Speaking to the Mirror, the 55-year-old said:
“For me it is important to keep stability in the defence first, and second we will see if the situation of Jose in this market.
“After it will be another thing, but for the moment it’s a situation about the possibility of Jose and different possibilities for him for the moment.”
Fonte handed in a transfer request earlier in the transfer window and Koeman is keen to recruit his former captain as part of a mid-season revamp for Everton.
Currently sitting seventh in the Premier League, Everton have been beaten six times so far this season. A third round exit at the hands of Leicester, mainly down to the pace of attacker Ahmed Musa, has left Koeman accessing his options during the transfer window.
Southampton would be willing to part with their Euro 2016 winner for around £12m but they are also very keen to find a replacement before letting Fonte leave.
One possible replacement is Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho. Deemed surplus to requirements by Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp, the Frenchman could provide the experience Puel's side yearn for.
“I don’t comment. I don’t comment on a different possibility or situation." Explained Puel, regarding Sakho.
“In the market it is important to stay calm whether possibility or not possibility.