By Kevin Phillips

11th Sep, 2021 | 9:34am

Ward-Prowse snubbed Aston Villa move after 'mistake' - Phillips

Kevin Phillips claims James Ward-Prowse may have snubbed a move to Aston Villa after they sold Jack Grealish to Manchester City.

The Sunderland legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, reacted to the latest on the Southampton midfielder.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that the club “pushed hard” to land Ward-Prowse and extensive talks were held over a potential deal

On 6th August, this site revealed the Midlands giants had a £25million bid rejected for the Saints captain this summer.

Unfortunately for Villa, on 19 August Southampton announced Ward-Prowse had signed a new long-term deal.

Ward-Prowse, 26, is a vital cog in the Southampton machine, scoring eight goals and chipping in with eight assists in the Premier League last season.

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Phillips claims Ward-Prowse may have decided against joining the Villains after the departure of Jack Grealish.

“You have to give credit to the player,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“We aren’t privy to what goes on in the background in terms of agents and whatever but there will have been conversations.

“He’s committed to Southampton and that’s brilliant, he clearly loves the club.

“He’s highly thought of and they will have made it known how much he’s valued at St Mary’s.

“Turning down Villa is still a big call. With the signings villa have made, he might have thought he could go and replace Grealish.

“Or maybe he saw Grealish go and thought Villa were worse off so he decided to stay. That pushed him to sign a new deal with the club and snub Villa, which makes the sale look like a mistake.

“The biggest thing for me is giving credit to the player but from Villa’s point of view, swapping Grealish for Ward-Prowse would have been a brilliant move.”

In other news, Smith will be ‘fuming’ after ‘daft’ Aston Villa development – McAvennie.