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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Fonte to Man United, Everton; Lukaku to Chelsea

Southampton v Arsenal - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Jose Fonte of Southampton celebrates as he scores their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary’s Stadium on December 26, 2015 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

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Jose Fonte is at the center of a Premier League tug-of-war.

The 32-year-old Portuguese center back is coming off the back of winning EURO 2016 with Portugal and last season he was imperious as he captained Southampton to sixth place in the Premier League, their highest-ever finish in the PL era.

[ MORE: Arsenal 16-17 season preview ]

All of that has led to Fonte being linked with moves to both Manchester United and Everton.

The Daily Record in Scotland believes that Fonte’s former manager at Southampton, Ronald Koeman, wants him to replace the outgoing John Stones and the Toffees have bid $13 million. They also state the Fonte’s countryman, Jose Mourinho, is a big fan of his and wants him to move to Old Trafford following his heroics for Portugal this summer.

United are said to be in a situation where they’d have to move out other players before Fonte arrived though, with Marcos Rojo, Paddy McNair, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian all being made available. Fonte would provide much-needed experience to United’s defense.

[ MORE: Rooney says “old United” back ]

One thing to bear in mind here: Fonte dropped down to League One to play for Southampton in 2010. Six years later he is the only remaining player at the club from their time in English soccer’s third-tier and is Saints’ leader on and off the field. He has been at the heart of their incredible rise to the upper echelons of the PL and securing European soccer in the Europa League group stages for the upcoming season. He seems happy and settled on the south coast of England.

Multiple reports claim that Southampton have offered Fonte, his Portuguese teammate Cedric Soares and playmaker Dusan Tadic new contracts to try and tie them down long-term at St Mary’s.

Will Fonte’s incredible swansong -- he made his debut for Portugal just shy of his 31st birthday -- continue at Old Trafford or Goodison Park?

Everton v Chelsea - The Emirates FA Cup Sixth Round

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Emirates FA Cup sixth round match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on March 12, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

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Chelsea are said to be keen on re-signing Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku, 23, left Chelsea permanently in 2014 after excelling on loan spells at West Brom and Everton. However, multiple reports claim that Chelsea is ready to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge and build their attack around him and Belgian teammate Michy Batshuayi.

The Daily Mirror says that Chelsea have put together a British record $90 million to buy Lukaku from Everton, while the Times claims that the main reason Chelsea are moving for Lukaku is that Alvaro Morata will remain at Real Madrid.

Remember: Everton bought Lukaku from Chelsea for $35 million just two years ago but in his three seasons at Everton (one on loan and two permanently) he’s scored 43 goals in 104 Premier League games. With Antonio Conte recently commenting on the uncertainty of Diego Costa’s future at Chelsea, could the Blues sell Costa back to Atletico Madrid and use that cash to buy Lukaku back?

Buying back former stars for significantly more than you sold them for a few years ago seems to be the theme of the summer...

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