Southampton ‘will not entertain bids’ for James Ward-Prowse as Aston Villa linked with midfielder after beating Arsenal to Emi Buendia

Southampton are ‘not expecting a bid’ from Aston Villa for James Ward-Prowse this summer, according to talkSPORT’s transfer expert Alex Crook.

Reports on Sunday linked Villa with a move for the star midfielder after a brilliant season with the Saints.


Ward-Prowse has been with Southampton since the age of eight[/caption]

The 26-year-old scored eight goals and added seven assists in the Premier League, form that saw him in contention for a place at Euro 2020.

He was named in Gareth Southgate’s 33-man provisional squad, but was one of the unlucky seven to miss out.

Ward-Prowse is on standby for a call-up and will be fighting with Jesse Lingard to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury, in the squad.

The midfielder’s set-piece prowess makes him an attractive prospect to suitors in the Premier League.


Ward-Prowse has made 322 appearances for the Saints, scoring 33 goals[/caption]

A report in The Guardian claims Villa have turned their attention to Ward-Prowse just a day after agreeing a deal to sign Emi Buendia from Norwich, beating Arsenal to him.

The England international has four years still to run on his contract after penning a five-year deal last summer.

Southampton will not be willing to let him leave, though.

Crook reports the Saints ‘are not expecting’ a bid from their Premier League rivals ‘nor would they entertain one’.

Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side finished 15th in the top flight last season despite a strong start that saw them top the table.

For Ward-Prowse, it looks as though his summer will consist of watching England play at the Euros and be involved in speculation over his future.

Ward-Prowse played in England’s friendly with Austria during the week

But talkSPORT host Jamie O’Hara believes he should be in that England squad as a replacement for Alexander-Arnold.

“He’s one of the best set piece takers in the world,” O’Hara said. “I can’t believe you’re not taking him because when there’s 20 minutes left, or is going to extra-time, and you think there’s nothing happening and can’t open teams up, what do you do?

“Jack Grealish wins a foul, Ward-Prowse comes on for 20 minutes, bends one in the top corner and you win 1-0.

“I could almost accept it with Trent, because he can take free-kicks, but he’s not on that level and we’re light in midfield. Ward-Prowse is a decent midfielder.”