The Athletic‘s David Ornstein has dropped an Aston Villa transfer update on their pursuit of Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.
Reports in recent days have suggested that Premier League champions Manchester City have put in a mammoth £100m bid for Villa star Jack Grealish, but it seems that the Midlands club haven’t taken their eye away from making their own big-money moves.
Taking to Twitter, Ornstein said: “EXCL: Southampton reject bid from Aston Villa for James Ward-Prowse. Offer for 26yo was £25m, #SaintsFC would want far more. England midfielder signed new 5y deal last summer. Unrelated to Grealish. W/ @dansheldonsport @TheAthleticUK @greggevans40#AVFC.”
In an accompanying article for The Athletic, he outlined: “The Athletic understands Southampton would be incredibly reluctant to sell their captain to a direct rival and they realise he is their most highly-valued asset. He has just signed a new contract with them.
“It is believed that the initial offer was seen as derisory and not even considered by the south coast club. A second bid is expected.”
One of the crucial things for Villa here is that their attempts to sign Ward-Prowse is “unrelated” to what is currently happening with Grealish, which still leaves the door open for the two England internationals to play together at Villa Park.
Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but the intention is certainly there from Villa that they are not purely looking at the Southampton star as a player to come in from the money they will get for Grealish, but rather one they envisage teaming up with the 25-year-old.
News that Villa are ready to put in a second bid for the Saints captain is yet more exciting news for the Midlands club’s fans as they enjoy an impressive transfer window of new signings this summer.