The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has delivered a teasing transfer claim on Aston Villa’s pursuit of Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse.
Reports in recent weeks and months had suggested that Dean Smith’s side had made Ward-Prowse a key target of theirs this summer as they look to strengthen their options in the middle of the park.
But, The Athletic’s David Ornstein then revealed that the Midlands club had had a bid rejected by the Saints, and that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s club had no intention of letting him go.
But now, Preece has delivered a 12-word update on where things currently stand from a Villa point of view.
He said: “All I’ll say is JWP could well happen. It’s not dead yet.”
Having already sealed deals for the likes of Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings, among others, Villa have enjoyed a fruitful summer transfer window thus far, with the obvious caveat of losing Jack Grealish, of course.
But sealing a deal for Ward-Prowse, an England international and a captain of a Premier League rival, would be fantastic business for Villa, and it’s no surprise that it’s received a lot of backing from the likes of former Three Lions goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
He said: “He would be a great signing for Aston Villa though and in truth, Villa are moving forward faster than Southampton. They are a bigger club as well.
“If he moved I think it would enhance his international opportunities and for that reason I think it is a move the player will try and push through. Southampton will not want to do business but they are a club that will do business at the right price, of that I’m sure. I think Villa can get the deal through if they are willing to pay.”
And that claim from Robinson that Villa are “moving forward faster” than the Saints is the one that really stands out and tells a big picture about the kind of exciting project the Midlands club are building under NSWE’s ownership.
They have been quick out of the blocks with their summer recruitment, and while only time will tell how much of a loss Grealish leaving will be, have done virtually everything possible to try and still take that next step.
It’s exactly why Preece’s latest claim that a move for Ward-Prowse may not be dead should have Villa fans drooling at the prospect of another hugely exciting signing arriving at Villa Park this summer.