West Ham United Jose Fonte has dismissed speculation that he was close to joining Liverpool in January of this year as ‘newspaper stuff’.

The 33-year-old was playing for Southampton at the time and handed in a transfer request in order to force through a move away from St Mary’s Stadium.

He ultimately joined the Hammers for what BBC Sport reported was an £8 million fee, but has now addressed rumours that the Merseysiders were also interested in his services.

“It’s newspaper stuff, isn’t it?” Fonte told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Friday Football Social.

“I don’t know. It didn’t happen, but a lot of ex-teammates went there.”

Since moving to the London Stadium, Fonte has struggled to rediscover the form that made him one of the Premier League’s most reliable centre-backs during his time on the south coast.

He came up with the Saints from League One and his performances in the top flight led to him making his debut for the Portugal national team at the age of 30 in 2014.

Success followed with his country as they won the European Championships last summer, with Fonte playing every minute of the knockout stages including extra time in the final against hosts France.

The defender is currently out of action after injuring his foot in the recent 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

Manager Slaven Bilic has since been dismissed following a poor overall start to the campaign and replaced by former Sunderland boss David Moyes.

The Scot lost his first match in charge at the weekend as his new side went down 2-0 to Watford, leaving them 18th in the standings with just nine points from 12 matches.

Next up for West Ham is a crucial Premier League clash with Leicester City on Friday night, with Moyes in desperate need of a win to get the fans onside and help carry the team up the table.