West Ham continues pursuit of 28-year-old midfielder despite rejection of initial bid

West Ham United’s interest in Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse remains undeterred, as they continue their pursuit of the 28-year-old midfielder. Sources have revealed to Football Insider that the Hammers saw a verbal bid for Ward-Prowse rejected earlier in the summer window. However, they are eager to finalize his arrival, especially after losing their own skipper, Declan Rice, to Arsenal last week.

Football Insider had previously reported that Ward-Prowse is keen to move from second-tier Southampton to a Premier League club and is likely to be granted his wish before the summer transfer window closes.

Despite the initial setback, West Ham is undeterred and is now preparing to formalize their interest with an official bid to test Southampton’s resolve.

Throughout the 2022-23 Premier League campaign, Ward-Prowse was a regular in Southampton’s lineup, featuring in every game. He has amassed an impressive total of 343 top-flight appearances since his debut in 2012. Last season, he contributed 11 goals and five assists in 45 appearances across all competitions.

The England international has earned a well-deserved reputation as a set-piece specialist, scoring 17 career Premier League free-kicks, coming just one goal short of David Beckham’s all-time record. With 55 goals and 53 assists in 409 total appearances for Southampton, Ward-Prowse has been a key figure for the club.

His contract with Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium is set to run until June 2026. Currently, the midfielder has returned to pre-season training with Southampton, participating in friendly matches against Benfica and Goztepe.

With the prospect of Europa League football in the 2023-24 campaign, West Ham is determined to bolster their squad and sees Ward-Prowse as a valuable addition to their ranks.