West Ham in talks with Southampton over Jose Fonte deal - sources

West Ham United are in talks to sign unsettled Southampton defender Jose Fonte, sources close to the Hammers have told ESPN FC.

Fonte's future at Southampton remains up in the air after he handed in a transfer request earlier this month, with the 33-year-old's contract due to expire in 18 months.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is in the market for a new central defender before this month's transfer window closes and talks have taken place with Southampton over Fonte.

However, sources said agreeing a deal may be difficult, with Southampton holding out a fee in the region of £12 million to sell him this month.

The Portuguese defender has been left out of Southampton's last four games, with Saints boss Claude Puel saying after Wednesday's FA Cup replay win over Norwich that Fonte is "fielding several opportunities" to leave St Mary's.

Sources told ESPN FC earlier this month that Crystal Palace were considering a move for the player.