By Gabriel Agbonlahor

22nd May, 2023 | 11:15am

Agbonlahor tips Aston Villa to beat West Ham to James Ward-Prowse signing after release clause news

Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed Aston Villa should move to beat West Ham and Tottenham to the signing of Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse this summer – even if he would not start.

The former Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 28-year-old would “love the chance” to play alongside the likes of Ollie Watkins and Jacob Ramsey.

According to the Daily Mail (15 May), Southampton captain Ward-Prowse does not have a relegation release clause in his contract – which runs until June 2026.

The report claims Aston Villa, Tottenham and West Ham are expected to bid for the England international.

Ward-Prowse has notched 10 goals and five assists across 44 appearances in all competitions this season – and has notched 48 Premier League strikes in total since making his top-flight debut in 2012.

Aston Villa have several top midfield stars already on their books, with Boubacar Kamara, Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn.

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Agbonlahor told Football Insider’s Charlotte Cohen: “I do like Ward-Prowse.

“But I look at Villa’s midfield and I am happy enough with it. Ward-Prowse – would he start in Aston Villa’s best midfield?

“I don’t think he would, but he could be a good signing to put pressure on the starters.

“Players like Ward-Prowse would love the chance to play for Aston Villa. There are young, English players in the team and Watkins is there to feed off his deliveries.

“It’s a really likeable club and I think he’d want to come here, even if Tottenham and Newcastle are interested.”

In other news, the real reason Mateu Alemany U-turned on joining Aston Villa revealed.