By Wayne Veysey

19th Feb, 2023 | 4:06pm

Sources: Aston Villa reignite interest in Southampton star James Ward-Prowse

Aston Villa remain keen on signing James Ward-Prowse and are keeping tabs on his situation at Southampton, sources have told Football Insider.

The Midlands giants attempted to sign the 28-year-old midfielder in 2021 and could make another move to sign him this summer even if the Saints survive relegation.

Unai Emery wanted to add a central midfielder to his ranks in January but Villa were unable to complete a move for Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi.

Villa first showed interest in Ward-Prowse in the summer of 2021 when Dean Smith was manager but Southampton were able to tie down their captain to a new five-year deal in late August of that year to fend off interest.

Ward-Prowse has become crucial to Southampton since graduating from the club’s academy in 2011.

He spent eight years in the club’s youth system before making his senior debut for Southampton aged 16 against Crystal Palace in the League Cup.

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In his 12 years with the first team, Ward-Prowse has racked up 393 senior appearances across all competitions, scoring 52 times and assisting a further 52.

He has played every Premier League minute for the Saints this season, scoring six times – including a winning free-kick against Chelsea on Saturday (18 February).

Ward-Prowse has now scored 17 free-kicks in the Premier League after his goal against Chelsea, leaving him just one away from David Beckham’s record.

Ward-Prowse was also named Southampton’s Player of the Year in the 2020/21 season after scoring nine and assisting seven times in 44 appearances that season.

In other news, Aston Villa could reject Emiliano Martinez offer on one condition after source’s reveal