West Ham have made an opening bid of £25million for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse this summer, as per The Telegraph.
Ward-Prowse, 28, featured in every Premier League game for Southampton last season. The central midfielder scored nine goals and assisted another four as his side suffered relegation to the Championship.
Rising through the ranks at Southampton’s academy, Ward-Prowse has been as loyal as a player can get so far in his career. The Englishman has featured in over 400 games for the Saints registering some impressive goal contributions along the way.
However, the club’s relegation may spell the end of Ward-Prowse’s time on the south coast with the midfielder seemingly having a desire to play top tier football, especially with the EURO’s around the corner.
Testing the waters
It wasn’t long ago that the Daily Mail reported both Fulham and West Ham wanted the midfielder, but needed to see his £40million valuation lowered by the Saints. This suggests the opening bid from West Ham isn’t near what Southampton want and there still may be work to do before a deal is agreed.
It has been said in the past few weeks that the Hammers were only willing to offer around £20million, but it appears they now realise to stand any chance they have to up that rather significantly.
West Ham and David Moyes have to rebuild their midfield ahead of the upcoming season following the departure of Declan Rice and Ward-Prowse would be a very solid option for the Hammers. However, Southampton will want as much as possible for their man and that could see this saga drag on into the future for sometime more still.
The Saints are targeting an immediate return to top tier football and the money recouped by the sale of Ward-Prowse could help them on their way, but it’ll be interesting to see how much they settle on the 28-year-old’s valuation.