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Manchester United set to rival Manchester City for midfield star



James Ward-Prowse

Manchester United and Manchester City are reportedly ready to fight it out over a massive £75 million move for Southampton midfielder James Ward Prowse this summer, according to the Daily Star.

The Saints captain, now 27 years old, is having a stellar season in Ralph Hassenhutl’s engine room, weighing in with 9 goals and 5 assists so far this term. He has become renowned for his set-piece delivery and now sits second, behind only David Beckham, in the number of free-kicks scored in the Premier League.

On the fringes of the England squad under Gareth Southgate too, JWP is clearly in his prime, and it is something that the two Manchester Clubs apparently want to take advantage of, though they are not alone.

Six clubs involved as Manchester pair lead the way

As per the Daily Star, six clubs are tracking the midfielder, but the Manchester pair could be the far and away favourites to both attract the player, thought to be settled on the south coast, and also pay the sort of fee that would be required to prise him away.

‘Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle are all tracking developments closely, while Aston Villa failed with a £25m swoop last summer’, the report claims.

But, they add, the midfielder has interest from Manchester United, while Manchester City are big admirers too.

He has reportedly ‘been added to the Reds summer shopping as they search for two new central midfielders as part of their planned close-season overhaul. But that is set to bring them into direct competition with their local rivals as Pep Guardiola is a huge admirer of the England international.’

A move to Manchester United would hand Ward-Prowse the best chance of regular gametime, with City boasting a strong selection of central midfielders. But, at present, he is doing just fine at Southampton and is sure to have caught Southgate’s eye.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 34 64 82
2 Manchester City 33 59 80
3 Chelsea FC 33 40 66
4 Arsenal FC 33 12 60
5 Tottenham Hotspur 33 18 58
6 Manchester United 35 2 55
7 West Ham United 34 8 52
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 33 4 49
9 Newcastle United 35 -16 43
10 Leicester City 32 -4 42
11 Brighton & Hove Albion 34 -11 41
12 Brentford FC 34 -8 40
13 Southampton FC 34 -16 40
14 Crystal Palace 33 2 38
15 Aston Villa 32 -4 37
16 Leeds United 33 -30 34
17 Burnley FC 33 -16 31
18 Everton FC 32 -21 29
19 Watford FC 33 -36 22
20 Norwich City 33 -47 21
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 22
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 17
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 17
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 15
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 14
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 12
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 12
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 12
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 11
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 11
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 10
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 10
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Raphinha Leeds United 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 10
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 10
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 9
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 9