Fonte Signs

Thursday 17 August 2017 17:00

The Club is delighted to confirm the signing of Sporting Clube de Braga captain Rui Fonte for an undisclosed fee.

The 27-year-old has signed a three-year deal, with a Club option to extend by a further 12 months.

Comfortable playing as a number nine or in a wider position, Fonte already has two goals to his name from his four Braga appearances this season. He netted the winner in their 2-1 league victory over Portimonense, while he was also on target in a UEFA Europa League Qualifier against AIK Solna.

Fonte joined Braga permanently last summer following a successful loan spell, and he ended the season with 11 goals from 24 league starts, making him comfortably the club’s top scorer as they finished fifth in the Primeira Liga.

After coming through the academy at Portuguese giants Sporting Clube de Portugal, Fonte’s first stint in England saw him join Arsenal as a teenager, where he went on to make his professional debut in a 3-0 FA Cup victory over Wigan Athletic in November 2008.

The younger brother of West Ham United defender and European Championship winner Jose Fonte, he joined his sibling at Crystal Palace for a 10-game loan spell later that season, giving him a first taste of Championship football.

In the summer of 2009 Fonte returned to his homeland with former club Sporting Lisbon. He took in loan spells with Vitória Setúbal and Espanyol, before making his move to the latter permanent.

Fonte was back in Portugal by January 2013 when he signed a deal with Benfica, for whom he scored in the Final of the Taça de Portugal, the country’s domestic cup competition, as they beat Porto on penalties.

Capped by Portugal at youth level from Under-16s upwards, Fonte scored eight times in 22 appearances for their Under-21 side. He has been called up for the senior team in the past, but is yet to win a full cap.

Speaking to fulhamfc.com after putting pen to paper Fonte expressed his delight having completed the move: "I am very happy and very excited to sign for Fulham, this is an amazing challenge. Fulham is a massive club and I’m looking forward to it.

"I wanted to say a big thank you to Braga who took me in as family and I’m thankful to all the staff and fans for their support during my time there."

Tony Khan commented: "Rui Fonte is a substantial talent, and I'm thrilled to welcome him to the Fulham Football Club.

"We have been interested in Rui for a long time. We have great aspirations for the future of this club, and today we have taken another step towards realising them by adding a striker known for his immense skill and selfless teamwork. COYW!"