Man Utd transfer blow as Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl rules out selling Red Devils target James Ward-Prowse

RALPH HASENHUTTL has dealt Manchester United a huge blow by saying Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse is not for sale.

The Saints captain, 27, has been in terrific form this season and Hasenhuttl believes he is an "exceptional" player.

United have been heavily linked with a move for the £75million-rated set-piece king in the past few months with Newcastle and Tottenham are also said to be interested.

And Ward-Prowse's contract situation means Southampton can play hardball.

Hasenhuttl said: "He has another four years on his contract, he's our captain and he's happy here.

"Fans love him and we know how important he is to our team. The development of his game is why he's a true winner.

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"I think he's very exceptional. I haven't seen any players similar."

United are in the market for a midfielder having targeted Leeds' Kalvin Phillips and Wolves ace Ruben Neves as well as Ward-Prowse.

That is a big blow to United and incoming boss Erik ten Hag, who is believed to be a fan of the England international.

Ward-Prowse's set-pieces would be a massive advantage to any team that signed him.

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He could cost around half of another target, Declan Rice, who is valued at £150m by West Ham.

But United could face a transfer battle with rivals Manchester City – Guardiola is also said to admire Ward-Prowse's set-pieces.

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