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Manchester United 'add James Ward-Prowse to summer shortlist'

Man United 'add James Ward-Prowse to summer shortlist'
© Reuters
Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse this summer.

Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse this summer.

The 28-year-old has spent his entire career at St Mary's, coming through the club's youth ranks before making his professional debut back in 2011.

Ward-Prowse has captained the Saints since the summer of 2020 and recently made his 400th appearance for his boyhood club in the 1-0 defeat at West Ham United last weekend.

However, the midfielder is believed to be facing an uncertain future on the South Coast, with Southampton currently at risk of relegation from the Premier League.

A recent report claims that Ward-Prowse will leave the Saints if Ruben Selles's side – who currently sit at the foot of the table and four points adrift of safety – are demoted to the Championship this season.

James Ward-Prowse celebrates scoring for Southampton against Everton on January 14, 2023© Reuters

Although Southampton have struggled in the top flight this term, Ward-Prowse has contributed with seven goals and two assists in 29 league games, while he has also chipped in with two goals and an assist across seven matches in the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

The set-piece specialist has been tipped to seek pastures new and join a bigger club for some time, and one report claims that Liverpool are among a host of clubs to have scouted the midfielder this season.

Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Aston Villa have also been credited with an interest in Ward-Prowse, with the former said to be big admirers of the 11-cap England international.

According to Football Insider, Ward-Prowse has become a summer target for Man United, with Erik ten Hag said to be "hell-bent" on recruiting a new midfielder ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag on April 2, 2023© Reuters

It remains to be seen whether the Red Devils will look to sign Bayern Munich loanee Marcel Sabitzer on a permanent basis this summer, and his possible departure could lead to them stepping up their interest in midfield targets such as Ward-Prowse.

The future of Scott McTominay has also been questioned in recent months, with United believed to be willing to listen to offers between £25m and £30m for the Scotland international.

Ward-Prowse is under contract at Southampton until the summer of 2026, and it is thought that an offer in the region of £40m could be enough to prise the midfielder away from St Mary's.

United have also been credited with an interest in the likes of Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, West Ham's Declan Rice, Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves, Brighton & Hove Albion's Alexis Mac Allister and Real Betis' Gabri Veiga ahead of the summer window.

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4Aston Villa26164656352152
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd26142103636044
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2610974941839
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham2611694046-639
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18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2634192266-4413

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