Now that the next summer transfer window is around the corner, it seems as though the Etihad Stadium club have their eye on adding another top-flight talent to their ranks.
According to a recent report from the Daily Star, City have joined the race to sign Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse this summer.
The report claims that Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are also interested in the Englishman, who ‘could cost up to £60m if Southampton feel compelled to sell’.
Since making his senior debut for the Saints back in October 2011, the 27-year-old has gone on to make 361 appearances for the club across all competitions. In that time, he has found the net 43 times and provided 48 assists along the way.
To highlight how crucial the England international has been for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side this season, he not only has more minutes under his belt than any other Saints player in the league, but also the highest number of shot-creating actions (105) to his name (via FB Ref).
Since the 2015/16 season, the midfielder has scored 13 direct free kicks for his team, including four in this current Premier League campaign.
These free kicks have garnered all sorts of praise for Ward-Prowse, whose knack for set pieces has been described as “unbelievable” by Darren Ambrose. Indeed, his free kick against Wolves earlier this season was labelled by BBC pundit Danny Murphy as “one of the best” that he has ever seen.
Ward-Prowse has also been on the receiving end of high praise from City manager Pep Guardiola, who claimed that the Southampton captain is one of the best set-piece specialists in the world.
To have such a talented and technical midfielder in his squad would surely delight the 51-year-old, who has seen many of his current midfielders find the net multiple times this season.
If the club feel that they need to add some more depth to their midfield with a player who can score and create plenty of goals, then Ward-Prowse could be a solid addition to City’s ranks if they win the race for his signature.