Now that the next summer transfer window is around the corner, the Citizens have been linked with another English talent who has been a regular figure in the Premier League for a number of years.
It was reported late last month that the Manchester club have their eye on signing Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse during the upcoming summer transfer window.
However, it seems as though a behind-the-scenes development has emerged which could be a setback for Pep Guardiola’s side and their attempts to bring the 27-year-old to the Etihad Stadium this summer.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl seems to have poured cold water on the possibility of the Saints captain making an exit from St Mary’s this summer.
The Austrian said: “He has another four years on his contract, he’s our captain and he’s happy here. Fans love him and we know how important he is to our team. The development of his game is why he’s a true winner.”
If City are aiming to add the Southampton star to their ranks this summer, taking into account what Hasenhuttl has had to say, this could be bad news for their chances of securing the Englishman’s signature.
Having worked his way through the youth ranks at the south coast club to then go on and make 360 senior appearances across all competitions, it’s easy to see why Saints supporters have an infatuation with the midfield star, according to Hasenhuttl. In those senior appearances, the 27-year-old has scored 43 goals and provided 48 assists along the way.
To further highlight just how crucial he is for his team, no other Southampton player has completed more passes (1,515) or made more shot-creating actions (105) than Ward-Prowse this season.
This shows just how reluctant the south coast club would be to let him leave this summer, especially to another Premier League side, and it comes as a big blow to City’s chances of landing him this year.
Given the midfielder’s apparent happiness at Southampton and the fact that his current contract there isn’t set to expire until 2026, the Citizens would have to splash out a big amount of cash and use all their persuasive power if they are to convince Ward-Prowse to wave goodbye to his boyhood club.