Manchester United are monitoring the situation of Southampton captain Jose Fonte after it emerged that Liverpool are considering another raid on the south coast club this summer.
Louis van Gaal has already been linked with a big-money bid for right-back Nathaniel Clyne, but could also move for a second Saints defender in the forthcoming transfer window.
According to the Daily Mirror the Portugal international is on the Red Devils' radar following an impressive 2014/15 campaign at St Mary's.
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Fonte has been at the heart of one of the stingiest defences in the Premier League this season and his performances for Ronald Koeman's side have not gone unnoticed by the division's big-boys.
The 31-year-old has seen several of his old team-mates quit the club he's skippered since Adam Lallana's defection to Anfield last summer, and could potentially follow suit in the coming months.
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The England international midfielder was one of three former Saints players that signed for the Reds at the end of last season, with Ricke Lambert and Dejan Lovren also completing switches to Merseyside.
Meanwhile, young up-and-coming defenders Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers joined Manchester United and Arsenal in what was perceived as a massive fire-sale at St Mary's following the departure of manager Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham Hotspur.
However, Koeman came in and not only steadied the ship, but improved on Southampton's record points tally this season with the help of the old guard and a supplement of new signings which helped breed new confidence for the Hampshire-based club.
The only downside is that their fine run of form has also resulted in some players attracting unwanted attention from elsewhere, with Fonte the latest name to be linked with a prospective exit.
Mats Hummels is still thought to be Van Gaal's first-choice recruitment option at centre-back, though, and signing the Borussia Dortmund stopper will almost certainly rule out any offer for Fonte.
Brendan Rodgers's alleged interest is more likely to come to fruition. But, the former Crystal Palace man might look at the struggles of his old colleagues at Anfield and think twice about going there this summer.
Manchester United fans: Would you be happy with the signing of Southampton captain Jose Fonte this summer? Or do you think Louis van Gaal needs to target someone better? Share your thoughts below...
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