Southampton: Fonte visiting Old Trafford; young striker linked; Saints to "improve as a collective"
Southampton will continue their pursuit of Frankfurt striker Luc Castaignos before the transfer window closes, according to journalist Daniel Emery, following consistent speculation from more reliable sources in Germany.
Links have been made throughout the window between player and club, but as of yet, a bid has yet to materialise. The Dutchman arrived at Frankfurt from Inter last season but failed to fully adapt to German football, scoring four goals in 19 appearances.
The 23-year-old is still highly regarded despite his faulting Bundesliga form, and the Saints could face competition from both Norwich and Newcastle for the striker’s signature.
Castaignos is known to be a potent threat with the ball at his feet, both a consistent finisher and a dangerously aggressive dribbler, but does struggle to make an impact in the air. Chronicle Live reported that Castaignos could cost Saints around £3-3.5 million, a comparative bargain given the state of the transfer market.
Manager Claude Puel believes his side can improve as “a collective” going forward after the game against Watford, in a club press release.
A 1-1 draw at home against one of the relegation favourites was hardly an inspiring performance, but the manager believes progress will be made.
“I think it’s a collective. We can improve and you can make good progress, but it will be step by step” said Puel, who took charge at St Marys earlier this summer. “Every game we can take confidence in our games. It’s difficult of course with these opponents and good teams, but it’s important to breed a good confidence.”
Taking the game at Watford into account, Puel has taken to preparing his team for the game against United in a different way, following “the duels and the long ball of Watford.”
Jose Fonte is likely to feature against the club he’s been so heavily linked too this window and, according to the manager, the Portuguese is unaffected by the rumours.
“There is no problem with Jose, it is just strange that this rumour comes just before the game at United. There is a possibility that he may travel with us to Old Trafford” said Puel.
“He is a very good professional and he has played well in training sessions this week and it is important to have Jose with us, I hope, for the United game” he added. “Jose is our captain and I’m sure he will be completely ready for this game.”
Saints will be looking for their third consecutive victory at Old Trafford on Friday, and if Fonte plays he’ll be a key focal point of the defence.
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