By Wayne Veysey

6th Aug, 2021 | 8:26am

Sources: Southampton respond to big-money bid from Aston Villa for Ward-Prowse

Southampton have rejected a £25million bid from Aston Villa for James Ward-Prowse, Football Insider has learned.

The Midlands giants have pursued the England international midfielder all summer after making him a top target.

But a Saints source has told Football Insider that the club have no intention of cashing in on Ward-Prowse and will knock back all offers for him in this window.

Southampton sold Danny Ings to Villa earlier this week in a £25million deal.

Ings, 29, was going to be out of contract at St Mary’s next summer with the Saints choosing to cash in on their star man.

Ward-Prowse, 26, is also a vital cog in the Southampton machine.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

As well as being the club captain, his goals and assists rank him as one of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s most influential players.

The England international scored eight goals and chipped in with eight assists in the Premier League last season.

Villa announced the departure of Jack Grealish yesterday (5th August) in what the club said was a £100million deal.

This site understands Man City will pay £75million upfront with a further £25million coming through add-ons.

Speaking after Grealish’s departure, Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow updated supporters on what the club will do now they have lost such a key player.

Purslow explained Villa will target more than one player to replace Grealish with his fee set to be spent on several signings.

Villa have already been busy this summer, shelling out huge fees for Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and now Ings.

Ward-Prowse is the latest player targetted by the club as they look to establish themselves as a side that can regularly push into the Premier League’s top six.

In other news, “more signings to come” at Aston Villa as “unbelievable” news confirmed.