Aston Villa summer target James Ward-Prowse is the latest player being pursued by Newcastle United as the newly-affluent Magpies look to seriously strengthen their midfield options.
Villa fell short in efforts to land the England international in the summer, seeing a £25m bid rebuffed before Ward-Prowse penned a new five year deal with Southampton.
The interest from Villa, among other sides, may have aided the midfielder in landing a lucrative new deal.
However, it seems as if that deal is of little importance to Newcastle. A club insider says the Magpies are interested in completing a deal for the 26-year-old, per Football Insider.
Newcastle are looking to bolster their midfield in an attempt to steer themselves clear of the drop zone.
As such, Ward-Prowse seems a fitting option for the side to pursue. He is a proven Premier League player, having played 276 games in the competition.
He has also contributed to four goals in nine appearances for Southampton this season. As well as recently netting for England against Andorra, a game in which he played 90 minutes.
His dead-ball specialty is also an attractive asset, and can lead to goals from almost anywhere. That will be a crucial factor in Newcastle’s pursuit, as scoring goals will be paramount for them to climb the table.
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Ward-Prowse is valued at £29million according to Transfermarkt. However, Southampton could negotiate a higher price due to the midfielder’s lengthy contract and would demand nearer the £40m mark. That would prove a club-record fee, breaching the £39.4m paid to Hoffenheim in 2019 for Joelinton.
A fee in that range would be a drop in the ocean for Newcastle, and Ward-Prowse seems a fitting signing. As such, his signing would be a real statement of intent for the Magpies.
Newcastle keen on Villa man
Newcastle are also reportedly interested in Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba. The Zimbabwean has played just 200 minutes of Premier League action this season.
John McGinn, Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey are all ahead of Nakamba in the pecking order.
What’s more, the signing of Morgan Sanson last January put yet another hurdle in the way of Nakamba’s minutes.
Any deal for Nakamba would reportedly cost just £15million. And with the 27-year-old’s role in the Villa side under the spotlight, they might well opt to cash in.