Confirmed: Key defender ruled out of Southampton vs Liverpool clash amid transfer rumours

Jose Fonte will not feature in Wednesday’s EFL Cup tie with Liverpool, Southampton boss Claude Puel has confirmed.

Portugal international Fonte handed in a transfer request last week and was subsequently left out of the Saints’ FA Cup squad to face Norwich.

And Puel revealed the 33-year-old defender will not be included against Liverpool with his future still up in the air.

‘Jose doesn’t participate in this game,’ Puel, 55, said. ‘We will see for the next game.

‘But for the moment, and with the situation of Jose, it’s important to keep the stability in defence.

‘We don’t know the future for Jose. 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 Jose and I respect this situation. Of course, it’s not easy for him, 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.’

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