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Lille captain Fonte returns to Portugal with Braga deal

Lille defender Jose Fonte (centre) has joined Braga. Photo: Denis Charlet/AFP

Former Southampton, West Ham and Crystal Palace defender Jose Fonte announced Tuesday he was leaving French Ligue 1 Lille club for Braga in his native Portugal.

“After five years, my career as a Lille player is coming to an end,” the 39-year-old central defender, who had been out of contract since July 1, said on Instagram.

Fonte joined the French club in 2018 after a brief stay at Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang, helping them win the Ligue 1 title in 2021.

Fonte, who was part of his country’s Euro 2016-winning squad, has signed for a season with Braga who finished third in the Portuguese league last season. 

Ivory Coast forward Jonathan Bamba, also at the end of his contract with Lille after five years, has signed for Spanish club Celta Vigo, his new club confirmed.

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