Southampton want to keep 'world-class' £75m star at St Mary's

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl points the way

Southampton have no intentions of sanctioning James Ward-Prowse’s departure as they ‘want to keep him’ at St Mary’s, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

Ward-Prowse has gone on to make more than 360 appearances since coming through Saints’ ranks, but the midfielder has been heavily linked with a move away from the south coast.

What’s the latest news involving Ward-Prowse?

According to the Daily Mail, Southampton will tell their Premier League rivals that Ward-Prowse is not for sale ahead of the summer transfer window opening for business.

The report suggests Saints’ stance over the 10-cap England international has come amid interest from Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Spanish sources have claimed incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is keen to see Ward-Prowse join him at Old Trafford, while Manchester City have also set their sights on striking a deal.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has issued a hands-off warning by insisting the 27-year-old ‘will stay’ at St Mary’s.

Saints are in a strong negotiating position as Ward-Prowse’s £100,000-per-week contract has more than four years remaining, so they are not in an immediate rush to cash-in.

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What has Tom Barclay said about Ward-Prowse?

Barclay understands Southampton are not looking to part ways with Ward-Prowse amid widespread interest in their captain.

The journalist feels suitors would have to stump up a lucrative fee if they want to have any chance of altering Saints’ stance.

When asked whether a move could be on the cards, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “If that’s going to happen in any way, then the club buying him is going to have to spend a lot of money.

“There was a report recently in the Mail about how they don’t want to sell him and want to keep him. That’s correct, from what I’ve heard. They don’t want to let him go, so it’s one to watch.”

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Why are Southampton keen to keep Ward-Prowse?

Ward-Prowse has enjoyed a memorable season, with him breaking into double figures for goals thanks to his brace at Brighton & Hove Albion last month.

The midfielder has been deadly from free-kicks over the years, with him now scoring 14 in the Premier League and David Beckham being the only star to have found the back of the net more times from similar situations in the competition.

Hasenhuttl, who has reiterated that the £75million-rated Ward-Prowse is ‘happy’ at Southampton, is clearly a fan as well.

The Saints chief hailed his skipper as ‘world-class’ earlier in the campaign, underlining Ward-Prowse’s importance on the south coast.

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