Southampton: £100k-a-week star 'would be open' to St Mary's exit

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl looking unimpressed

Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse ‘would be open to a move’ away from the club this summer, according to The Sun journalist Tom Barclay.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a host of Premier League sides following an outstanding season for the Saints and could be tempted to seek pastures new over the coming months.

What is the latest news involving Ward-Prowse?

A recent report in the Daily Mail has claimed that Southampton have placed an eye-watering £75 million price tag on Ward-Prowse in order to put off his potential suitors.

It’s claimed that Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are closely monitoring the England international’s situation ahead of potential moves.

However, the arrival of Yves Bissouma at Hotspur Way may mean Spurs focus their attention elsewhere, leaving the likes of Newcastle United and West Ham in with a shot at securing his signature.

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Ward-Prowse only put pen to paper on a new five-year contract last August, and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl previously outlined his desire to keep hold of the midfielder.

“He has another four years on his contract, he’s our captain and he’s happy here,” said the Austrian tactician. “Fans love him, and we know how important he is to our team.”

What has Barclay said about Ward-Prowse?

Barclay believes ‘a lot of clubs would benefit’ from having Ward-Prowse in their side, although ‘can’t see’ any potential suitor stumping up the reported £75m needed to prise him away from the south coast.

He told GiveMeSport: “I think Ward-Prowse would be open to a move. I think a lot of clubs would benefit from having him in their team.

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“It does seem like West Ham do like him, I’m pretty sure that’s right. Tottenham liked him too, but they’ve signed Bissouma now.

“I just think the fact that he’s got four years left on his contract, the fee, I mean some people have been talking about £75 million, which seems massive, I can’t see that happening.”

How big a loss would Ward-Prowse be?

Ward-Prowse, who reportedly earns £100,000-per-week, was described as “unbelievable” by midfield parent Oriol Romeu, and it’s difficult to argue with that assessment.

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

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The set-piece specialist registered 11 goals and eight assists in 42 appearances across all competitions last season despite Southampton finishing down in 15th position in the top-flight standings.

Losing his ability on the ball, leadership and experience would be a bitter blow to Hasenhuttl’s charges, and everyone associated with the club will surely be hoping Ward-Prowse sticks around for a little while longer.

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