Aston Villa would not have paid £50m for James Ward-Prowse before he signed his new Southampton contract, says Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield.
Manager Dean Smith was keen to bring Ward-Prowse to Villa, with Sky Sports reporting back in July that the Midlands club had made an unsuccessful £25m bid for the player.
Ward-Prowse has since put pen to paper on a new five-year deal, ending Villa’s pursuit for the summer.
However, prior, The Athletic reported that a sale was possible if the Villans offered half of the money they received for Jack Grealish, now of Manchester City.
According to Hatfield, though, Villa were never going to offer that kind of money. He told FFC:
“I don’t think Villa would’ve met the £50m asking price if I’m being brutally honest.
“Dean Smith’s always been after Premier League experience and players he thinks could help Villa. But at that price, it would’ve been very hard to see Villa splashing the cash and doing that one.”
From Southampton’s perspective, they will be relieved that they have managed to keep hold of Ward-Prowse.
The Saints have already lost Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard this summer, sanctioning sales to Villa and Leicester City respectively. To lose Ward-Prowse as well would have been a devastating blow.