Fonte Becomes First January Recruit
By Tom Dowsett
Saturday 21 Jan 2017 10:41:00
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After concluding eleven deals in the summer transfer window, West Ham United finally completed their first signing of this month, as José Fonte has moved to Stratford from Southampton following completion of a medical on Friday. 

The player has signed for a fee of £8m on a two and a half-year contract with an option of a further year.

The Hammers had already been linked with a number of players this month, but talk of the central defender's move to the East End only became a real possibility on Thursday.

Fonte was given the captaincy at St Mary's in 2014 but before the 3-0 defeat at Everton at the start of the month, he made it clear that he wanted to move on and handed in a transfer request following six successful years on the South Coast after former Irons' boss Alan Pardew had made him one of his first captures from Crystal Palace. 

During his first two seasons with Southampton, he helped the club gain promotion from League One and then did the same again to be back amongst the elite of English football.

Despite Fonte being 33, West Ham co-owner David Sullivan was quoted in an interview with Sky Sports before the final game at Upton Park against Manchester United in May as saying "I'd sign a player no matter what age they are, if I thought they could do a job for the club."

The Portuguese international will provide competition for the likes of Winston Reid and James Collins and will link up again with former Saints loanee Michail Antonio in East London.

The player is unavailable for this afternoon's trip to Middlesbrough, but will be in contention for the home clash with Manchester City on 1 February and he won't have to wait too long for a return to St Mary's either, as the Hammers head there three days later.

With ten days left before the window closes, this site will have news if any more signings are made.

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