James Ward-Prowse’s future at Southampton becomes clearer
Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse is still likely to leave St Mary’s before the summer transfer window closes, a report from Football Insider has revealed.
The Englishman is one of the more likely players to depart the south coast club this summer along with the likes of Romeo Lavia and Tino Livramento, with the Saints potentially needing to sell some key players this summer to give Russell Martin a decent budget to spend.
Martin was busy in the transfer market during much of his stay at the Swansea.com Stadium because he wanted to put his stamp on the squad – and in his quest to implement his style of play at St Mary’s – he may decide to cash in on players and bring in several additions in return.
How long does James Ward-Prowse have left on his Southampton contract?
Ward-Prowse is someone Martin will probably want to retain – but the midfielder may not want to ply his trade in the Championship after establishing himself as a real asset in the Premier League.
Signing a five-year contract back in the summer of 2021 though, he still has three years left on his contract and that could mean the Saints are able to price teams out of a move.
Even if the player tries to force a move, the relegated side have every right to keep hold of him, although it seems like he will be let go if a suitable offer arrives.
Brentford and Fulham have been linked with a move for him, with West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur also having him on their radar.
With this in mind, the Englishman could easily end up in London, although Newcastle United may also try and get a deal over the line.
The Daily Mail believe the Magpies have already made an approach for him, although it remains to be seen whether they would be willing to bring both him and Sandro Tonali in.
Should Southampton sell James Ward-Prowse?
Considering his quality and the fact he still has two years left on his deal, some would argue that the Saints should be looking to keep hold of him.
Martin’s side will be desperate to get back to the top flight at the first time of asking – and having Ward-Prowse at their disposal would boost their chances of achieving that goal.
Not only is he an asset in open play – but he can also be a game-changer because of his free kicks and this is another reason why the relegated team may benefit from retaining him.
But if the player wants to move on, the club should let him go because he deserves the opportunity to move back to the top tier.
His sale could also mean that Martin gets the opportunity to spend a sizeable amount in the transfer market, which would surely boost their chances of winning promotion at the end of the 2023/24 campaign.