ASTON VILLA are set to swoop for England and Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.
The ambitious Midlands club are expected to table an offer for the 26-year-old this week as they aim to complete their business early this summer.
James Ward-Prowse is a summer transfer target for Aston VillaCredit: AFP
Dean Smith has already smashed the club transfer record by landing Norwich City playmaker Emiliano Buendia in a £35million deal which will be confirmed in the next 24 hours.
But Villa are set to buy big again and could top that for Ward-Prowse, who signed a new five-year-deal with Saints last season.
Smith is keen to improve Villa’s set-piece stats and wants his team to become a major threat from dead balls.
He believes, in Ward-Prowse, he will be landing one of the best in Europe.
A defensive midfielder was one of the positions prioritised by Smith as well as a creative midfielder and a striker.
With Jack Grealish the most-fouled player in the Premier League, the addition of Ward-Prowse would be a major weapon for Villa.
Smith hopes to steal a march on Villa’s Premier rivals by doing business early.
He could face competition from Liverpool as they are also keen on Ward-Prowse, who won his seventh England cap when he came off the bench against Austria in midweek.
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The standby Saint is still hopeful he can gatecrash Gareth Southgate’s Euro squad, despite being left out of his initial 26-man Three Lions squad.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury has opened the door again and Ward-Prowse is in the running after another impressive season for Southampton, which saw him named Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year.
The 26-year-old opened his England account against San Marino earlier this season and also scored nine goals in 44 appearances for Saints.
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Ward-Prowse missed out on the 26-man England squad for the Euros despite his impressive season with SouthamptonCredit: Getty
Liverpool boast the most-valuable squad in the Premier League