ASTON VILLA have had a £25million bid rejected for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse.
Villa chief Dean Smith is a big admirer of the England midfielder - particularly for his dead-ball delivery.
And he is expected to return with another offer.
But Saints are hugely reluctant to sell their skipper, who only signed a new five-year contract last summer.
And they have no intention of letting him leave.
Ward-Prowse is the heartbeat in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, playing every single minute of Premier League action.
His hot form has seen him win eight England caps, though he missed out on Euro 2020 when he failed to make Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man squad.
Set-piece specialist Ward-Prowse scored two free-kicks during Saints’ 4-3 win at Villa Park in November.
And he could be ideal for a Villa side that creates plenty of dead-ball situations thanks to repeated fouls on captain Jack Grealish.
However, it remains to be seen if the playmaker stays put this summer.
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Reports claim Manchester City have launched a £100m bid for Grealish.
That would make him the most expensive Premier League player of all time.
But Villa are desperate for Grealish to stay and have offered him a new lucrative contract.
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