West Ham are interested in Southampton central defender Jose Fonte.

According to a report from the Daily Mail this afternoon, The Hammers are looking to make their move for the experienced centre-back this month in an attempt to bolster their highly fragile defence.

Fonte handed in a transfer request at Saints last week and is currently open to a move away from St Mary’s, with West Ham now emerging as potential suitors for the 33-year-old.

Michael Regan/Getty Images Sport

The Portugal international will not take part in Saints’ EFL Cup semi-final clash against Liverpool tonight as his future continues to come under increased scrutiny.

West Ham join the host of clubs claimed to be pondering a move for the powerful defender, but will face stiff competition from elsewhere if they are to pursue their reported interest in Fonte.

It would certainly be a surprise move for the former Crystal Palace defender, but it could be on the cards with his options becoming increasingly limited.

Read more from Luke Osman