Southampton star Jose Fonte comments on future amid recent Liverpool transfer speculation

Southampton defender Jose Fonte says it would be 'difficult' to leave Southampton.

Southampton defender Jose Fonte has told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo that he can't guarantee his future at the club amid recent rumours of a move to Liverpool.

Fonte, 31, has been a mainstay of the Southampton side since joining from Crystal Palace in 2010, leading the team to promotions from League One all the way to the Premier League.

The centre back has not only now proven himself as one of the top centre backs in the Premier League, but has also finally received his first cap for Portugal this season.

Southampton's defence has been superb under Ronald Koeman even after losing Croatian international Dejan Lovren to Liverpool last summer, and much of that is down to Fonte's marshalling of the Saints backline.

Now though, his exploits on the South Coast have seemingly attracted interest, with the Daily Mirror recently reporting that Liverpool are pursuing Fonte in a bid to reunite him with former centre back partner Lovren.

Southampton lost three key players to the Reds last summer in Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert, and will surely want to keep Fonte at St. Mary's Stadium for some time to come - and Fonte has now tackled the rumours head on.

Fonte has told O Jogo in Portugal that whilst he can't definitively say that he will be staying at Southampton, he admitted that it would be difficult to leave the club.

"I can't say that I'm staying, but as I'm captain of the team, I'm important for the club and it will be difficult to leave," said Fonte. "That is not to say that things couldn't change if there is a good deal for everyone...but it would be difficult, because things are going well in Southampton and people cherish me very much," he added.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch