West Ham close to signing Southampton's Jose Fonte

West Ham close to signing Southampton's Jose Fonte

West Ham United are closing in on the signing Southampton defender Jose Fonte.

Slaven Bilic cut a forlorn figure during his press conference last Thursday, where he made the somewhat surprising announcement that scallywag of the month, Dimitri Payet, is no longer prepared to play for West Ham.

"His departure is not inevitable", said Bilic, according to Sky Sports.

Bilic went public about Payet's desire to leave West Ham last week, outlining how the French fan-favourite had gone on strike in an attempt leave the club.

Arsene Wenger doubts that Arsenal will conduct much transfer business in this January's window.

"We are not looking for big numbers as I have strong belief in our qualities now in the dressing room, but we need one or two players".

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Fonte told West Ham's official website: "I signed for West Ham because they are a great club and a very big club". I thought that he really wanted me and that he sold me the project and the ambition of the club.

Reports suggest that the 33-year-old is set to meet with the Hammers in the coming 24 hours, as they look to complete the deal prior to their clash with Middlesbrough this weekend.

Fans and pundits have been having their say on the situation, which has become a hot topic in the footballing world.

"We are in a position to offer a new deal and he deserves it. Negotiations have just started, I will leave that to the chairman". His contract also includes an option for another season. "You're interested by the quality of the player but there has to be a need as well, and we have no need in this domain", the Frenchman said.

"But come on, who doesn't want to play football on a Saturday?"