Aston Villa are getting their ducks in a row as the departure of Jack Grealish becomes a a real possibility.
They've had a £25million (€29.3m) bid rejected by Southampton for midfielder James Ward-Prowse.
It follows the news that Manchester City have opened talks with Villa regarding a move for England playmaker Grealish.
A figure of £100million (€117m) has been reported as the asking price for the former Republic of Ireland U21 international of the year.
Sky Sports claim that City made their initial move several days ago, and that lines of communication remain open.
Villa have hardly been shy about their need to recruit a new no.10 with the new Premier League season a fortnight away. Last month they had a £25million bid rejected by Arsenal for Emile Smith-Rowe. The 20-year old has since gone on to sign a new contract at the Emirates.
But attentions have now turned to Ward-Prowse, one of many successful products of Southampton's academy set-up.
Now 26, he's made 322 appearances for the Saints since his debut at the tender age of 16. Ward-Prowse has 8 England caps to his name, and was cut from Gareth Southgate's provisional squad for Euro 2020.
The Athletic report that Southampton have turned down Villa's initial bid, but a further approach seems likely.
Meanwhile, Grealish still has four years left on his Villa contract and - as their team captain - may prove difficult to uproot.
But City boss Pep Guardiola is a long-term admirer of the 25-year old, saying back in October 2020, "He’s incredible. A top player. I’m happy he stayed in the Championship to defend his club when he could have gone.
"He’s a talented player who always creates something. [Grealish] is an exceptional player but too expensive for Manchester!"
Manchester United provide COVID update after Preston friendly cancelled