Puel: Fonte won't feature

By SFC Media Mon 09 Jan Saints vs Liverpool
Photo by Matt Watson | José Fonte

Southampton manager Claude Puel has said José Fonte will not be available for Wednesday night’s EFL Cup tie with Liverpool.

Saints host the Reds in the first leg of the semi-final, but, with Fonte’s future currently uncertain, Puel says he will not be included.

"José doesn’t participate in this game,” he said. "We will see for the next game. But, for the moment, and with the situation of José, it’s important to keep the stability in defence.

"We don’t know the future for José. It’s a difficult situation with the window [being open]. For the moment, I stay with stability in defence.

"The club has given him the possibility to study different opportunities during the window and it’s important to respect this.

"I respect José and I respect this situation. Of course, it’s not easy, for José, for the squad, for the staff.

"It’s difficult to play and have the good concentration with this situation. He’s a strong professional, a good professional, but it’s a particular situation and it’s important to respect this.”

Puel added that Virgil van Dijk will continue as captain during games in his absence, but that Fonte remains in the role.

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