Jose Fonte surprised by Saints sales
Southampton defender Jose Fonte has said he was "surprised" that so many key players had left the club this summer -- but he is unlikely be joining them after opening talks about a new deal.
Fonte's deal expires next year, but he said he was settled at Saints despite the upheaval that has seen stars including Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Dejan Lovren depart.
The Portuguese defender, 30, had been linked with Cardiff and Hull, but The Mirror reported him as saying: "I am in negotiations to renew my contract. There have been offers from other clubs, but I feel happy at Southampton."
Fonte moved to St Mary's from Crystal Palace more than four years ago, playing his part in the Saints' rise from League One to the Premier League.
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He said he believed new boss Ronald Koeman, appointed after the departure of Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham, had brought in effective replacements for some of the players who had left.
"Ronald Koeman already knew he was going to lose some players," he added. "Of course he can't be very happy with the situation, but he has already signed three quality players.
"We still need another three or four more, but the players who have arrived have brought competitiveness.
"Ryan Bertrand came in Luke Shaw's place and has done good work, Graziano Pelle scored a lot of goals last year in Holland, and Dusan Tadic has a lot of technical quality."
Fonte said the players remaining after the Saints' summer exodus "have to lift ourselves and get on with our work."
He added: "The players who left had shown great quality. I'm not surprised about the offers that arrived, but a bit disappointed and sad that so many left. It wasn't the situation that the fans wanted, but that's football.
"They were offers which were almost irrefutable and, with clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United, it's difficult for the players to say no."