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Fonte completes £8m West Ham switch

5:57 AM GMT+8 21/01/2017
josefonte - Cropped
After handing in a transfer request at St. Mary's the, Portugal international has completed a move to Slaven Bilic's side

West Ham have completed the signing of Southampton defender Jose Fonte for an initial £8 million.

As Goal reported yesterday, the fee paid by the Hammers could rise to £12m with add-ons.

Fonte had signalled his desire to leave St Mary's Stadium by handing in a transfer request earlier this month and West Ham quickly emerged as favourites for his signature.

They have now confirmed that the Euro 2016 winner with Portugal has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at London Stadium, with the option of a further 12 months.

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"I signed for West Ham because they are a great club and a very big club. They have a lot of fans and I have known for a number of years how passionate they are," Fonte told West Ham's official website.

"The manager was also a very big influence. I thought that he really wanted me and that he sold me the project and the ambition of the club.

"I also have part of my family living in London and they are big West Ham fans. It just made sense for me at this stage to join West Ham. It is a new challenge and a new beginning and I am looking forward to it.

"With the way that West Ham is going we can only look to be challenging in the top eight.

"I told the manager in conversations that we want to win and we want to win trophies. The ambition is big and we need to aim high.

"West Ham are a massive club and it is an exciting challenge and it should be for everyone. We all need to get together and start working."

Fonte joined Southampton in 2010 from Crystal Palace and the 33-year-old centre-back climbed from League One to the Premier League with the Saints, before making his international debut in 2014.

He had been linked with a move to Manchester United following his success in helping Portugal win their first major trophy at the European Championship, while Liverpool were also thought to be among his suitors.

However, Fonte has opted for a move to the capital and joins a West Ham side who are 12th in the Premier League.