Newcastle have reportedly joined West Ham in the growing list of clubs chasing the signature of dead-ball specialist James Ward-Prowse.
David Moyes will be looking to overhaul his midfield following the retirement of club legend Mark Noble, and Southampton star Ward-Prowse looks like a perfect fit after a fine career in the Premier League.
Transfer specialist and CaughtOffside columnist Fabrizio Romano wrote in his exclusive column earlier this month:
“West Ham have been linked with (Kalvin) Phillips in the recent past, but I don’t expect them to be serious contenders for him now. Instead, the Hammers are now focused on Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse as an appreciated player for the midfield, but he is not an easy target,”
Eddie Howe is expected to strengthen several positions this summer as Newcastle look to improve on their impressive season, which saw them equal their highest Premier League points tally since 2013/14.
However, despite the Toon’s expected to spend heavily this summer after their takeover by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium, reports suggest Newcastle’s budget to be between £80million and £100million (as per the Telegraph)
According to the Mirror, Newcastle could now rival West Ham in the chase for Ward-Prowse.
Ward-Prowse is one of the finest midfielders competing in the lower half of the Premier League table, scoring 10 Premier League goals during the 2021/22 campaign, which saw him called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the UEFA Nations League.
The 27-year-old has been at Southampton since joining their academy in 2010 before being promoted to the senior squad in 2012.
Ward-Prowse has since become a precious asset to the Saints squad, and Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will be reluctant to let his prize possession, contracted until 2026, go.
The England international reportedly has a price tag of around £75million, which is a large sum for any club to spend.