Aston Villa could look to sign James Ward-Prowse next year after failing in their attempts to prise the midfielder away from Southampton during the summer transfer window, according to Express & Star reporter Luke Hatfield.
What's the latest news involving Ward-Prowse?
Villa saw a £25million bid for England international midfielder Ward-Prowse rejected by Southampton in July.
Boss Dean Smith firmed up his interest in Ward-Prowse, who agonisingly missed out on Gareth Southgate's final squad for England's Euro 2020 campaign, after seeing bids for Arsenal creative midfielder Emile Smith Rowe turned down.
Ward-Prowse, who is valued at £27million by Transfermarkt, became a prominent figure on Villa's radar having played every minute in each of the last two Premier League campaigns, but Saints were keen to hold onto their captain.
He notched nine goals, including a brace of free-kicks in Southampton’s 4-3 win at Villa Park, and seven assists as he showed his devastating ability from dead-ball situations last term.
But Villa failed to get a deal over the line before the transfer deadline passed at the end of last month and they suffered a blow in their hopes of signing Ward-Prowse when the window reopens in January after the 26-year-old penned a new five-year contract.
What has Luke Hatfield said about Ward-Prowse?
Despite seeing Ward-Prowse commit his long-term future to Saints, Villa reporter Hatfield believes the midfielder remains on Smith's wishlist and, as a result, another bid could be in the offing next summer.
He feels Villa will look to profit if Southampton fail to enjoy a promising campaign, particularly after seeing key men Jannik Vestergaard leave for Leicester City and Danny Ings join Villa from the south-coast club during the recently-closed transfer window.
The Football Terrace: Ranking the best and worst football transfers this summer! How did your team do?
Hatfield told GMS: "It could be one they revisit if Southampton struggle this season or if they were to go down after losing some key players.
"He's obviously a fantastic player and Villa were very keen on him but things didn't pan out."
How has Ward-Prowse performed this season?
Ward-Prowse has played every minute of Southampton's Premier League campaign so far and claimed his first goal, from the penalty spot, in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United last month.
The central midfielder, who has won eight international caps and scored a solitary goal for England at senior level, also grabbed two assists as Saints recorded the biggest away win in their history thanks to an 8-0 thrashing of League Two outfit Newport County in the second round of the League Cup.News Now - Sport News