Jose Fonte: West Ham sign Southampton captain

Jose Fonte
Fonte made 286 appearances for Southampton after signing from Crystal Palace in 2010

West Ham have signed Southampton captain Jose Fonte for £8m on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The 33-year-old Portugal centre-back - who spent seven years at Southampton - made a transfer request with 18 months left to run on his Saints deal.

The transfer includes a possible £1m in add-ons and gives Fonte the option to extend his contract for a further year.

Southampton's director of football Les Reed said Fonte had the chance to sign an improved deal but requested a move.

Fonte, a Euro 2016 winner, said West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was a "very big influence" in convincing him to choose the Hammers ahead of other clubs.

"I thought that he really wanted me and that he sold me the project and the ambition of the club," Fonte told the club's website.

Fonte made 288 appearances at St Mary's and was the last remaining member of the Saints side that rose from League One to the Premier League.

"I also have part of my family living in London and they are big West Ham fans. It just made sense for me at this stage to join West Ham," he added.

"With the way that West Ham is going we can only look to be challenging in the top eight."

The Hammers confirmed Fonte will not be available for Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough.

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