Southampton latest news: Saints have 'protected asset' after reaching agreement with £28.8m star

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton are in a strong negotiating position if clubs firm up their interest in James Ward-Prowse thanks to tying him down to a long-term deal, according to the Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

The England international committed his future to the south-coast club by penning a five-year contract in August.

What's the latest news involving Ward-Prowse?

Southampton were desperate to negotiate an extended agreement with Ward-Prowse after Aston Villa were interested in securing the central midfielder's services during the summer transfer window and lodged a £25million bid which was turned down.

Villa were keen on signing Ward-Prowse after he enjoyed a productive season in the final third of the pitch, scoring nine goals and notching seven assists in 44 appearances.

Latest reports suggest Ward-Prowse is now on Newcastle United's radar ahead of the transfer window reopening in January.

The Magpies are pursuing the 26-year-old after the club underwent a £305million takeover earlier this month.

That deal has resulted in Newcastle becoming the richest club in the world and, thanks to the injection of cash, they could offer Ward-Prowse substantially more than his current £45,000-per-week salary at St Mary's.

Enter Giveaway

Enter Giveaway

What has Tom Barclay said about Ward-Prowse?

Barclay feels Southampton should be commended for reacting so quickly to Villa's interest in Ward-Prowse and tying him down to fresh terms.

The contract signing resulted in Saints being able to secure one of their biggest assets to a long-term agreement.

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Barclay also believes the deal means Southampton are in a strong position if Newcastle or other admirers look to negotiate a switch in January.

He told GIVEMESPORT: "James Ward-Prowse has just signed a new five-year deal so, in terms of protecting your assets, he is.

"They've done well on that front."

How big of a loss would Ward-Prowse be to Southampton?

Seeing Ward-Prowse leave St Mary's would come as a huge blow to boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, who claimed the midfielder was on his way to becoming a club legend after committing his long-term future to Southampton.

Ward-Prowse has been dependable for Saints in recent years, with the captain playing every minute of the last two Premier League campaigns.

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However, that lengthy run came to an end when Ward-Prowse, who is valued at £28.8million by Transfermarkt, was suspended after being sent off at Chelsea earlier this month.

He has also impressed on the international stage, scoring his second England goal in the World Cup qualifier victory over Andorra during the recent break from domestic football.

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