West Ham are in advanced talks to sign defender Jose Fonte from Southamption, according to reports .

The Portuguese international indicated he wanted to leave St Mary's and had confirmed he wouldn't be getting a new contract at the Premier League club.

The 33-year-old helped Portugal win Euro 2016 and joined Southampton from Crystal Palace in 2010.

Meanwhile, West Ham's hunt for new players continues with Brentford's Scott Hogan still on the radar while a £6million bid for Robert Snodgrass has been rejected by Hull City.

The biggest hole in the team comes with the prospect of life after Dimitri Payet after his one-man strike . Cesc Fabregas has been out of favour at Chelsea and rumours have begun circulating that he might be a replacement.

In response, Blues boss Antonio Conte has praised the "commitment" of the Spanish midfielder who has started just five Premier League games with the table-toppers.

Middlesbrough preview

Aitor Karanka

West Ham make the long journey to Middlesbrough on Saturday (January 21) on the back of an impressive 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, but will find ‘Boro’s resolute defence much harder to break down without their primary creator in the side.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Dimitri Payet refusing to play for the Irons, but Slaven Bilic’s men put in an impressive performance without the playmaker against Sam Allardyce’s struggling side.

It was clear at times, though, that they missed the inventiveness of Payet, and West Ham will find it difficult to penetrate one of the best defences in the league away from home without the wantaway star.

Aitor Karanka has formed a side well worthy of staying in the Premier League, mainly down to their ability to shut out teams. Middlesbrough have only conceded 10 goals at home this season and have managed to keep four clean sheets, which is on a par with Arsenal.

They have also conceded fewer shots in the box than the Gunners, with 69 to Arsenal’s 71. No away team has scored at the Riverside Stadium in ‘Boro’s last four home games, and their last two league matches have both ended 0-0.

Andy Carroll shoots to score with a scissors kick

While Middlesbrough have proved themselves to be stalwarts at the back, their threat in front of goal is abysmal.

With a total of nine goals in front of their own fans, they have the worst scoring record at home in the top flight by some distance. They are also lowest for shots, with 27, and second lowest for shot accuracy, with 25.5% of their efforts on target.

The Hammers’ goal tally away from home has been decent, with 14 goals in 10 games. They rank ninth in the division for goal attempts with 126, and seventh in terms of goal conversion with 11.1%.

Andy Carroll is fit again and leading the line, and has two goals in the last four games. With 12 attempts on goal in that timeframe, the striker is firing off an effort on goal every 25.6 minutes.

Unless Karanka signs a clinical forward this January the newly promoted club will continue to struggle for goals. Although Boro’s back line is tough to get through, we still think Bilic’s side have the edge in this fixture. Therefore, West Ham To Win To Nil looks like a solid bet.

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