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Fonte resurfaces following China disaster

Filed: Friday, 20th July 2018
By: Staff Writer

Jose Fonte has signed a two-year contract with French club Lille.

The Portuguese defender, who left West Ham last March to join Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang announced earlier this week that his three-year contract has been ripped up by mutual agreement.

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And on Friday it was confirmed that Fonte would indeed be returning to Europe, as planned, although not to the Premier League as was his original intention.

The 34-year-old has signed a two-year contract with Les Dogues, who avoided relegation from the French top flight by just one point last season, ending their (38 game) campaign on 38 points just one place above the relegation zone.

Fonte spent 13 months at West Ham, a period during which he made just 24 appearances as a result of a string of injury problems.

Signed from Southampton for 8million in Janury 2017, Fonte moved to West Ham on a two-and-a-half year contract but failed to complete even half of that before agreeing to move to China.

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Speaking at the time of his arrival, the Euro 2016 winner revealed that Slaven Bilic was a major force in persuading him to join West Ham.

"I thought that he really wanted me, he sold me the project and the club's ambition," said Fonte. "I told the manager that we want to win and we want to win trophies. The ambition is big and we need to aim high."

However little more than a year later, he was on his way to Yifang in a 5million switch, meaning that West Ham had clawed back little more than half of the transfer fee paid to the Saints.

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