Southampton take leaf out of Arsenal’s book to end Aston Villa’s transfer hopes

The Southampton captain has been a key transfer target for Aston Villa, who were hoping to make a late move in the summer window after seeing an earlier offer rejected – but Ward-Prowse has pledged himself to the Saints

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James Ward-Prowse has committed his long-term future to Southampton – ending Aston Villa’s hopes of a big-money transfer.

The England midfielder is a major target for the Villans, who have already seen one offer – in the region of £25million – rejected this summer.

But with the West Midlands club preparing to test the waters with another bid ahead of the close of the transfer window later this month, the Saints captain has inked a new five-year deal at St Mary’s, to end speculation over his future.

Ward-Prowse said: “I’m over the moon. I think I’m probably the happiest man in the world right now.

Ward-Prowse has signed a new five-year deal at St Mary’s


Getty Images)

“To come to this decision, I think has been massive and is a big step forward.

“To commit my future again to this football club is something I’m incredibly proud of and a new chapter begins now for me.

“It’s probably the first time in my career that I’ve had that link away and that talk, but I think I was very keen to sit down and talk to the club and it’s worked both ways; they’ve sat down and told me their admiration for me and the way they want me to lead the team.

“This club has done so much for me, I can’t put into the words the opportunities and chances that they’ve given me and I’m incredibly grateful for the club for doing that.

“I’m not finished yet here, I still have a lot left to give to this football club and I want to be there leading this team and ensuring I can give everything back and repay that faith the club have shown in me since I was eight-years-old.”

Ward-Prowse has already made 323 first-team appearances for Southampton and will lead the team out against Manchester United on Sunday.

It is the second time this summer Villa have seen a push for a midfield transfer target end with the player signing a new deal at his parent club, following Emile Smith Rowe’s recent decision to extend his stay at Arsenal.

Villa are continuing to seek an extra addition in central midfield, where senior options are limited to John McGinn, Douglas Luiz , Morgan Sanson and Marvelous Nakamba, as well as young stars Jacob Ramsey and Carney Chukwuemeka.

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