Aston Villa’s owners are reportedly very keen on signing Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse this summer, and it would be a huge blow for Ralph Hasenhuttl to lose him.
Football Insider revealed earlier this week that Villa’s owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris are desperate to sign the England international this summer and will step up their plans to bring him to Villa Park ahead of pre-season.
The Villans have already broken their record transfer this summer, as they signed Emiliano Buendia from newly-promoted Norwich City and the billionaire owners may have to surpass the £38m they paid for the Argentine if they want to sign Ward-Prowse from Southampton.
After all, the 26-year-old has just enjoyed arguably his best season in the Premier League, is valued at £27m by Transfermarkt and is contracted at St Mary’s until 2025, so it would surely take a mammoth bid in order to convince the Saints to let him leave this summer.
Last season saw the Saints academy graduate contribute eight goals and seven assists in the Premier League, as he played every single minute for Hasenhuttl’s side for the second successive season.
His performances in the top-flight earned him an impressive 7.07 rating from WhoScored, which comfortably ranked him as the best performer in the Austrian manager’s squad, which emphasises just how important he is at Southampton.
As club captain, Southampton fans would surely be devastated to see him leave, as if the Saints want to progress next season, then they need to keep hold of the influential captain, but after missing out on a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euros this summer, Ward-Prowse may feel that it is time to showcase his abilities elsewhere.
The “incredible” midfielder is the heartbeat of this Southampton side and losing him this summer would be a significant blow to Hasenhuttl’s hopes of a better season, but if the reports are true, then Saints fans should perhaps be worried that Villa may well be successful in their pursuit of Ward-Prowse this summer.