Southampton: PL rivals may have to pay £50m to prise rising star from St. Mary's

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse is worth in excess of £50m, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

Ward-Prowse has spent his entire career at St Mary’s, having come through the club’s youth system, but rival teams could try to tempt him away from the South Coast this summer.

Has Ward-Prowse been linked with a move away from Southampton recently?

Southampton had to fend off interest in their captain from Aston Villa last summer.

The Midlands club made a £25m bid for the 10-cap England international, which was swiftly rejected by the Saints. Ward-Prowse then went on to sign a contract extension, tying him down to Southampton until 2026.

The 27-year-old has continued to flourish this term under Ralph Hasenhuttl, and David Beckham is the only player in Premier League history to score more direct free-kicks than Ward-Prowse. Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Micah Richards agreed last month that he deserves to be named in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad later this year.

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What has Barclay said about Ward-Prowse?

Barclay feels Ward-Prowse would strengthen plenty of teams, but he believes potential suitors will have to pay a significant amount of money to land the £45,000-a-week star.

When discussing a realistic transfer fee for Ward-Prowse, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “You’re talking £50m-plus for him. And I think he’d be really good for a number of clubs, but it’s a lot of money.”

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Southampton's Sadio Mane Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien

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Will Ward-Prowse still be at Southampton next season?

Southampton have made a habit of selling their best players over the years, with the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Sadio Mane all moving on to high-profile clubs.

The club are now under new ownership following a January takeover led by Serbian-born businessman Dragan Solak, but Barclay has previously claimed that he still expects Southampton to sell their brightest talent moving forward.

Therefore, if they do receive an offer in the region of £50m, the Premier League club may consider letting Ward-Prowse go in the summer transfer window.

Whether any club is willing to spend that on him remains to be seen, though, and Ward-Prowse appears to be happy with how his career is progressing at the moment.

As a result, it seems there is a good chance that he will still be a Southampton player at the start of the 2022/23 season.

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