Southampton manager Russell Martin has confirmed captain James Ward-Prowse is “leaving the club” after Premier League West Ham United agreed a £30m deal for the Saints captain.
Saturday’s top-flight opener against AFC Bournemouth will not come too soon for either James Ward-Prowse or Harry Maguire, but some new faces could make their claret and blue appearances on Matchday 2.
According to West Ham United the athletehave signed £30million deals for both England internationals.
David Moyes confirmed this at his pre-match press conference Magure was likely being on the way. Ward-Prowse will not be far behind and Southampton’s manager has hinted a tearful farewell is also in the offing.
West Ham sign James Ward-Prowse
“I think it’s a tough question for Prowsey,” Martin said HampshireLive on Friday. “I’ve been working with him for six weeks. I was immensely impressed with him as a character, as a professional, as a person and as a player.
“We had a really good conversation on Wednesday. He is very emotional about leaving his club. It shows how much he cares for him and how difficult it will be for him if everything goes through.
“I think he really would have liked it if the club ended up differently in the championship.”
Arguably the best set piece shooter in Europe, let alone England; Ward-Prowse scored nine goals and provided four more assists despite Southampton finishing bottom in 2022/23.
Martin, meanwhile, insists his desire to play again for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions ahead of Euro 2024 was a driving force in his decision to leave his boyhood club.
“It’s a real personal ambition to be in the Premier League and to push your way into the England squad,” adds the former Swansea manager. “To break some Premier League records.
“I think he’s leaving an incredible legacy here in terms of the relationships he has with people and how everyone feels about him.”
Ward-Prowse set up Che Adams’ winner in last week’s 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. A game that will likely be his last league appearance for the club.
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