By Wayne Veysey

16th Jun, 2021 | 7:00am

Sources: Major update on Aston Villa bid to sign Ward-Prowse as Edens and Sawiris stance revealed

Aston Villa owners Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris will thrown their financial might behind the bid to lure James Ward-Prowse from Southampton, Football Insider has learned.

The Saints central midfielder is a top target for the Midlands giants this window as Dean Smith looks to strengthen his side.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that billionaire owners Edens and Sawiris are backing Smith to the hilt for a third consecutive summer as they look to build on the club-record capture of Emiliano Buendia last week.

The interest in Ward-Prowse, 26, is strong and the plan is to step up plans to lure him from the south coast.

Indeed, the owners are keen for a deal to be finalised in time for the midfielder to be at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground for the start of pre-season.

That would give Smith and the Villa coaching staff the maximum amount of time to bed the midfielder into their system ahead of the new season.

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The club’s transfer push will be aided by Ward-Prowse’s omission from the England squad for the Euros after he failed to make the final cut.

It will take a huge fee to lure the set-piece specialist from Southampton, where he has four years left to run on the contract he signed in August 2020.

The eight-times England international was outstanding for the Saints in 2020-21.

He started all 38 of their Premier League matches, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists from central midfield.

Villa’s pursuit comes just months after they signed Morgan Sanson from Olympique Marseille in January.

As revealed by Football Insider (25th March), Aston Villa chiefs fear they made a mistake signing the 26-year-old as he is difficult to manage and lacks technical finesse.

In other news, Aston Villa are ready to make a big push for Rangers star after transfer mission.