Ward-Prowse transfer claims show no value in Premier League for Manchester United

A remarkable report from The Sun over the weekend claimed Manchester United are interested in Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse.

Ward-Prowse is a talented player, beyond simply being a set piece specialist. We even wrote in January that he should be under consideration for United, amid the club’s problems from dead ball situations.

But not for a minute did we consider the price tag Southampton will reportedly demand.

The Sun report the Saints would seek a staggering £75 million for Ward-Prowse. Forget it.

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The price tag is reportedly this high due to West Ham setting the market price for Declan Rice at £150 million.

The 27-year-old midfielder signed a five year contract with Southampton in 2021, locking down his future long term. So his club can make crazy demands.

Last summer Southampton rejected a £25 million bid for Ward-Prowse from Aston Villa, SkySports reported.

Obviously when Manchester United come calling, prices skyrocket.

Not since United were quoted £50 million for Sean Longstaff has there been a more outrageous valuation.

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There is a financial parity in the Premier League nowadays which means United cannot simply pluck the best players from teams for bargain fees, as Sir Alex Ferguson was once able to.

United cannot now afford to pay over the odds for players, especially with finances to be somewhat restricted by a lack of Champions League football.

The club are still counting the cost of paying £80 million for Harry Maguire, when there were better value options available, and £50 million on Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

United must look outside the Premier League for real value. £75 million could go a long way.

Even if Ward-Prowse was, doubtfully, the player Erik ten Hag was set on, even the incoming manager would understand how ludicrous the reported transfer fee demands are. Any deal for the player must be for significantly less, or not at all.

Its obvious United must look elsewhere this summer, for a combination of value and quality, to start the Ten Hag revolution.

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