Manchester United have reportedly joined Newcastle United and West Ham United in the race to sign Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.
The Red Devils are seeking midfield reinforcements under Erik ten Hag following the departures of Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard. Ten Hag now has limited options in the middle of the park.
According to The Sun, they are pursuing Ward-Prowse, 27, who has had a phenomenal season for the Saints. The English midfielder made 42 appearances for Ralph Hassenhuttl's side, scoring 11 goals and contributing eight assists.
He was shortlisted for the Premier League 'Player of the Year' as well alongside United's Cristiano Ronaldo and eventual winner Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne.
The fee being touted for Manchester United, Newcastle or West Ham to lure Ward-Prowse away from St Mary's is £75 million (via The Sun).
That is likely to cut a huge chunk in Erik ten Hag's summer budget, but time is of the essence for the Dutch coach with pre-season on the horizon.
Manchester United have also been linked with Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong as speculation over a move continues to grow.
Express reports that Barcelona have told Robert Lewandowski that they will get their finances sorted in order to sign the Bayern Munich striker. Hence, De Jong's potential sale to the Red Devils is expected to be a contributing factor in this.
Newcastle and West Ham target James Ward-Prowse could be a good signing for Manchester United
One thing the Red Devils lacked last season was leadership, despite having the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and David De Gea at the club.
Harry Maguire was scrutinized throughout the campaign for his lack of influence as club-captain and as a defender.
Erik ten Hag will reportedly sit down with the English defender and discuss his role as skipper (per Express).
Ward-Prowse has flourished as Southampton captain, showing fight and determination throughout his time leading the Saints squad.
He holds similar traits to that of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, who United also hold an interest in.
The problem with a potential pursuit of Rice is the astronomical fee West Ham are demanding for the midfielder. The Hammers reportedly want £150 million (per Mail) to part ways with their midfielder.
So Ward-Prowse poses as a good alternative for the Red Devils. He has four years left on his deal with Southampton having only recently signed a new contract extension.
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