Football rumours from the media

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What the papers say

Aston Villa are poised to make a bid for Southampton and England midfielder James Ward-Prowse, The Guardian reports. Dean Smith is keen to further bolster his midfield after the expected arrival of Argentinian Emiliano Buendia from Norwich for a club-record £30million, and the 26-year-old Ward-Prowse makes great appeal for his set-play capabilities. The Daily Mail, however, says Southampton have labelled Ward-Prowse, their captain, not for sale.

Having seemingly missed out on Buendia, Arsenal’s main target for the summer is again securing Real Madrid’s Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard, Football London says. After the 22-year-old’s successful 14 appearances for the Gunners on loan last season, boss Mikel Arteta wants to bring him back again, either on loan or permanently. Arteta says Odegaard adapted well to Arsenal’s style, and his future will be the subject of discussions with Real in the next few weeks.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United – Premier League – Molineux Stadium
Ruben Neves could soon be leaving Wolves for Arsenal (Nick Potts/PA)

Barcelona want to sign Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte, according to Spanish outlet Sport. Barca have been linked with the 27-year-old before, but are now keen to take matters further, and may offer Spanish utility player Sergi Roberto as part of the deal.

Chelsea v Leicester City – Emirates FA Cup Final – Wembley Stadium
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has made Jonas Hofmann a target for this summer (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

Social media round-up

Players to watch

Georginio Wijnaldum: The 30-year-old Dutch midfielder, out of contract at Liverpool, looks like he is heading to Paris St Germain after Barcelona opted not to increase their offer for him, prominent journalist Fabrizio Romano reports.

Fabian Balbuena: Real Betis are in advanced talks with the 29-year-old Paraguayan defender who is out of contract at West Ham, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Marko Grujic: Liverpool look set to sell the 25-year-old midfielder after his loan spell at Porto, with the Portuguese side among several expressing interest, the Liverpool Echo says.

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