Aston Villa have reportedly been told by Southampton that it will take £50m to prise James Ward-Prowse away before the transfer deadline.
Villa have been busy in this window with the additions of Emiliano Buendia, Ashley Young, Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Axel Tuanzebe, as we looked to replace Jack Grealish and strengthen the squad.
While Dean Smith will be pleased with the business done, it doesn’t feel as though we’re quite finished yet as the midfield is arguably an area of concern moving forward, particularly after watching our defeat to Watford at the weekend.
As per The Athletic, Villa have targeted Ward-Prowse as a possible solution to that problem, but it’s suggested that Southampton will demand £50m for their captain and influential midfield ace, and so that will perhaps be enough to force Villa to give up their pursuit and look elsewhere.
It’s added that we had a £25m bid rejected last month and so based on the report above, it would appear as though there is a significant distance between the two parties and so it will take some doing to reach a compromise.
There’s no denying the quality that Ward-Prowse would bring to this Villa side and we would certainly be stronger with his presence in the XI.
That said, that is a hefty fee to splash out for his services, and although ownership and management will make a final decision as to whether or not it would represent value for money, it seems like an expensive piece of business that isn’t likely to come to fruition at this stage.
Time will tell whether or not Villa have alternative targets in mind already, while there is also a case to be made that Smith has a number of options at his disposal already and could try to find the right combinations to get the balance right without having to dip into the transfer market again.