Report explains why Jose Fonte snubbed West Brom; did Tony Pulis need him?

West Brom manager Tony Pulis

The former Southampton centre-back was heavily linked with a move to West Brom, only to make a switch to the capital instead.

West Brom missed out on the signing of Southampton defender Jose Fonte because he wanted to live in London, the Birmingham Mail reports, but did Tony Pulis even need to make the Portuguese a priority?

The Baggies were heavily linked with a January move for the veteran centre-back after he handed in a transfer request at St Mary’s, although Premier League rivals West Ham eventually swooped in to secure his signature.

Fonte, a European Champion with Portugal in the summer, endured a testing start to life with The Hammers, suffering a chastening 4-0 home reverse to Manchester City before putting in a far more assured display in a victory against his former club at the weekend.

West Ham United's Jose Fonte in action

And the Birmingham Mail report that a major factor in West Brom losing out to a side one place and five points below them in the Premier League table was Fonte’s desire to breathe in the glamour of the capital city.

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However, with West Brom posting one of the most impressive defensive records in the division, conceding just 29 times in 24 games, would Fonte have even proved value for money for a hefty £8 million, as reported by the BBC?

Burnley's Sam Vokes in action with Southampton's Jose Fonte

Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley have been typically solid at the back this season, although the latter has pitched in with the odd uncharacteristic error, while Craig Dawson has stood out in his natural centre-half position in recent weeks.

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Also, Marc Wilson, a defender Pulis knows well from a successful period at Stoke City, offers further versatility across the backline. Therefore, West Brom should not lose too much sleep after missing out on 33-year-old Fonte.

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