Saints defender Jose Fonte has signed a two-year contract extension with the club, and will be made team captain for the season.

The Portuguese centre half was due to become a free agent next summer, but he has now agreed a fresh deal that runs until 2017.

Daily Echo:

The news comes as a boost for Saints, ahead of the start of the Premier League season next week, with Fonte having represented a key part of the side that finished eighth last term.

Cardiff had attempted to prise him away this summer, with two bids believed to have been knocked back from the Championship club, but Saints were always keen to keep hold of the 30-year-old.

Saints boss Ronald Koeman, addressing the media this afternoon, said: "We are very happy because we like to keep the good players, the experienced players.

"Jose is the captain for this season on the field. We have another captain in Kelvin Davis who is the captain of the club but Jose is the captain on the pitch.

Daily Echo:

"I am very pleased about his new contract which keeps the good players and keeps our ambition and philosophy of the club and I am happy about that."

Fonte move to St Mary’s in January 2010, joining from Championship outfit Crystal Palace when the team were in League One.

He played a pivotal role in the club’s rapid rise from the third tier to the top flight, and has so far made 182 appearances for Saints, while scoring 13 goals.

Fonte’s performances last season also saw him ranked 35th by Bloomberg Sports in a list of the top performing players in Europe’s elite leagues.

The Daily Echo first revealed last month that Fonte would be offered a new two-year extension and would be made captain.