After picking up a red card and a three-game ban during their 3-1 Premier League defeat against Chelsea earlier this month, Southampton will welcome their club captain James Ward-Prowse back this weekend for their match against Watford after completing his ban.
However, it seems as though the club could potentially lose their star midfielder on a permanent basis during the upcoming January transfer window.
It has recently been reported by Football Insider that Ward-Prowse is apparently a “firm target” for fellow Premier League side Newcastle United and their new owners in January to try and strengthen their midfield, given their poor start to the season.
After working his way through Southampton’s youth academy, Ward-Prowse has gone on to make 331 appearances for the Saints across all competitions, scoring 35 goals and providing 42 assists along the way, which is why we feel the Southampton fans would be concerned by the possibility of him leaving in January to Newcastle.
In addition to this, Ward-Prowse had played 90 minutes of all of Southampton’s Premier League games so far this season prior to him getting sent off against Chelsea, proving himself to be a vital cog in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad.
Back in the previous summer transfer window, the 26-year-old, who is currently valued at £28.8m according to Transfermarkt, was heavily linked with a move to Aston Villa, who reportedly put in an offer of £25m which was apparently rejected by Southampton.
After that, Ward-Prowse put pen to paper on a new five-year deal at Southampton, securing his long-term future at St. Mary’s and putting to bed any rumours of him leaving the club.
Taking this into account, Ward-Prowse isn’t likely to leave the club in January for a move to Newcastle given how he said that he is “not finished” at Southampton and still has “a lot left to give” to the club when he signed his latest deal.
Moving forward, even if Newcastle come in with a big offer for the Englishman, they would need a lot more than the financial aspect of things to get Ward-Prowse to leave his boyhood club that he clearly loves playing for.