Southampton have been relegated from the Premier League and Kieran Gill of the Daily Mail says they’re resigned to losing their star players this summer. James Ward-Prowse is coming off the back of an impressive season and has interest from Tottenham Hotspur among others.
The 28-year-old has made 407 appearances in all competitions since rising through the youth ranks of his boyhood club, scoring 54 goals with 52 assists. He’s netted 10 goals with four assists from 43 games this season, playing in all but two of Southampton’s games across the board, but Ward-Prowse is unlikely to stay beyond the summer.
As an England international with ambitions of playing at the top level for club and country, being in the Championship would kill his hopes of representing the Three Lions on a regular basis, and Southampton aren’t guaranteed promotion back to the Premier League next season.
So if the likes of Tottenham are showing an interest, it’s easy to see why Ward-Prowse would be keen on making the switch. Sean Walsh and Graeme Bailey of 90min said in April that the 28-year-old has an asking price of £50m. He also earns £100k-per-week in wages, so he won’t come cheap.
It remains to be seen if Southampton have enough bargaining power to get every penny of that asking price, however, as they will need to cut expenditure following their relegation. Ward-Prowse surely won’t want to miss out on an opportunity to play for a side in Europe because clubs are haggling over the price.
Tottenham aren’t short of midfielders with Oliver Skipp, Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr on the books, but Bentancur has started only 17/36 league games, Skipp has 16/36 league games, Bissouma’s has 8/36 league games, and Sarr’s managed only 2/36 league starts.
Spurs are 7th in the league this season, so Ward-Prowse wouldn’t just make up the numbers. He could be a regular for the Lilywhites and would surely jump at the chance to play for a club at the other end of the table to Southampton.
Ward-Prowse’s valuation and salary demands mean suitors would have to pay more than £5m-a-year on top of £50m, however. So that might be a stumbling block for some clubs.