Manchester United target Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse

Manchester United are interested in bringing in Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse this summer, with Erik ten Hag keen to bolster his midfield unit.

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

James Ward-Prowse, 28, has spent his entire career with Southampton, coming through the club’s youth system before making his senior debut back in 2011. The central midfielder made his 400th appearance for the Saints in the 1-0 defeat to West Ham last month. However, he is understood to be facing an uncertain future at St Mary’s Stadium, with Southampton currently embroiled in a relegation battle.

Ward-Prowse’s form has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal campaign for the Saints, with the skipper registering nine goals and three assists in 36 appearances across all competitions. However, the south coast club will find it difficult to keep hold of him if they suffer relegation at the end of the season.

Manchester United have reportedly made the 28-year-old one of their summer targets but will face competition from Aston Villa and Newcastle United for his signature.

Scott McTominay could leave Man United

Scott McTominay has fallen down the midfield pecking order this season following the summer signings of Christian Eriksen and Casemiro. Regular opportunities have come few and far between for McTominay, who has only managed nine Premier League starts so far under Erik ten Hag.

The Scotland international has two more years on his contract at Old Trafford with the option of a third, but with limited game time and Ten Hag tipped to bolster his midfield ranks, he is being heavily linked with an exit. Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe is believed to be an admirer of McTominay.

Elsewhere, it remains to be seen whether Man United will look to turn Marcel Sabitzer’s loan move permanent from Bayern Munich this summer. If Ten Hag is ready to allow Sabitzer to return to Bayern upon the expiry of his loan at the end of the campaign, it could lead to the Red Devils intensifying their interest in midfield targets such as James Ward-Prowse.

James Ward-Prowse would improve Man United’s midfield depth

James Ward-Prowse has been a consistent performer and loyal servant for Southampton. At 28, however, he is open to quitting his boyhood club should they get relegated to the Championship.

A set-piece expert, the 28-year-old is just one free-kick shy of David Beckham’s all-time Premier League record. He is an intelligent passer of the ball and a tenacious tackler who will improve Man United’s midfield depth. If McTominay leaves Man United, Ward-Prowse could be an ideal player to replace him.

As Ward-Prowse is under contract at Southampton until the summer of 2026, an offer around £35-40m could be enough to prise him away from his boyhood club.      

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