Southampton say James Ward-Prowse is NOT for sale amid Villa interest

Southampton insist James Ward-Prowse is NOT for sale, with Aston Villa plotting a move for the Saints captain after agreeing a club-record £40m deal for Norwich’s Emiliano Buendia

  • Villa are set to beat Arsenal in the race for Norwich star Buendia’s signature
  • And Dean Smith’s side are reportedly also keen to sign James Ward-Prowse
  • But Southampton have labelled their captain ‘not for sale’ amid Villa’s interest 
  • The Saints star is currently on England’s backup list of six players for Euro 2020
  • Set-piece king Ward-Prowse may be called up to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold

Southampton have labelled James Ward-Prowse not for sale amid interest from Aston Villa in their captain.

Ambitious Villa are plotting a move for England midfielder Ward-Prowse as a follow-up to their club-record swoop for Norwich’s Argentine midfielder Emi Buendia.

Villa have signalled their intent in the transfer market by outbidding Arsenal and are on the verge of completing the capture of Buendia in a deal worth around £35m. 

Southampton have labelled captain James Ward-Prowse ‘not for sale’ amid Aston Villa interest

The West Midlands side are close to confirming the capture of Norwich star Emiliano Buendia

A move for set-piece specialist Ward-Prowse would be similarly bold and though Villa plan to test their rivals’ resolve in the next week, St Mary’s chiefs have no intention of letting their 26-year-old skipper leave.

Southampton tied Ward-Prowse down on a new five-year deal last summer, and he has made over 300 appearances for Southampton since emerging from their youth ranks, establishing himself as a poster boy for their academy.

He underlined his value to the club by playing in every single minute of their Premier League season for the second campaign running and enjoying his best season in front of goal during 2020/21, scoring nine times and setting up eight more goals. 

Villa boss Dean Smith (pictured) is said to be impressed by the Saints star’s set-piece ability

But Saints want to keep the midfielder, 26, who signed a fresh five-year contract last summer

The England midfielder, who came on in his country’s first Euro 2020 warm-up match against Austria on Wednesday, was left out of the 26-man squad but was named by manager Gareth Southgate as one of the six backup players.

He will hope to be called up as the injury replacement for Trent Alexander-Arnold, which will be announced after England’s second and final pre-tournament friendly against Romania on Sunday.

Seven-cap international Ward-Prowse, who scored his first international goal against San Marino in a 5-0 win in World Cup qualifying in March, could feature in that match.

The seven-cap midfielder hopes to be called up by England to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold

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