Ahead of Southampton's Premier League clash with Burnley this weekend, Puel revealed that the 33-year-old will remain on the sidelines while the situation remains as it is, while the club are actively looking to improve their squad in the January transfer window.
"The situation with Jose Fonte is the same for the moment. I prefer for the moment staying with Jose out of the team. We know it's a difficult window in January, but we will stay focused to see if we can find an opportunity," Puel told reporters.
Fonte, who was linked with a move to Manchester United last summer, has 18 months remaining on his current deal at Southampton.