Saints defender Jose Fonte has been named on the preliminary list for Portugal’s upcoming matches.

The 30-year-old, who has never won a senior international cap, has been quoted in his home country as confirming his presence among the 40 potential candidates for the friendly with France and the Euro 2016 qualifier against Denmark.

“For the first time, I’m pre-summoned,” he is said to have told Portuguese radio station TSF. “It is not definitive, but it is a first step.”

Portugal have a new coach in Fernando Santos, who will name his first squad later this week.

Saints team captain Fonte has long hoped for international recognition, but has been continually overlooked until now.