Aston Villa transfer news: Southampton reject £25million bid for James Ward-Prowse
After losing Danny Ings, Ralph Hasenhuttl is determined to keep hold of his captain and set-piece specialist
Aston Villa have had a £25million bid for James Ward-Prowse rejected, with Southampton desperate not to lose another key player.
According to Football Insider, the Saints have no desire to cash in on their captain, who has made more than 300 appearances for the club since coming through their youth system.
Their determination to keep Ward-Prowse has only been strengthened by the departure of Danny Ings, which was confirmed earlier this week.
Without their primary source of goals, the striker having scored 46 in 100 appearances, Southampton can’t afford to see their attacking threat reduced even further.
Entering the final year of his contract, and unwilling to commit to a new one, Ings joined Villa for £30million.
This has only increased the pressure on Ward-Prowse as Southampton look to avoid being drawn into another relegation battle.
They reached as high as third after an impressive start, but faded badly in the second half of the season to finish 15th, albeit 15 points above the bottom three.
Beyond his energy, work rate and passing ability, the midfielder is one of the best set-piece takers in world football.
Devastatingly consistent from free kicks and corners, he contributed eight goals and eight assists in the league last season.
It was his most prolific campaign so far, which was rewarded with greater involvement in the England team.
Ward-Prowse had made two brief substitute appearances for his country before playing the full 90 minutes against Iceland last September.
He also started, and scored, in a 5-0 win over San Marino to get World Cup qualifying underway earlier this year, but then just missed out on a spot at the Euros.
Despite losing Jack Grealish, Villa have already signed Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey, Ashley Young and Ings.
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