Pep Guardiola has already told Manchester United and Manchester City what they would get from signing James Ward-Prowse during the summer transfer window. Speculation over the Southampton captain has started to spiral amid suggestions the two Manchester clubs will go head-to-head for his £75million signature.

United are ready to prioritise central midfield signings when the market reopens and key figures in the boardroom have put together the framework on a potential move for Kalvin Phillips from arch rivals Leeds United. That comes amid long-term interest in England partner in crime Declan Rice.

As for neighbours City, they have recent form when it comes to splashing out on players further down the Premier League pecking order. Guardiola broke the nine-figure barrier to sign £100million man Jack Grealish last summer and the City manager mapped out that approach when recruiting Kyle Walker, John Stones and Riyad Mahrez.

READ MORE: Ralf Rangnick has already hinted at his Manchester United transfer wish-list

Speaking about Ward-Prowse earlier in the season, Guardiola said: “Southampton have the best free-kick taker I have ever seen or at least in the world right now. He’s so good that maybe you miss a little bit about the football player. He’s a team player with great quality, without the ball and with the ball.

“He really understands the game but it’s his free-kicks, set-pieces and corners that people pay more attention to.”

During what has been his most prolific season for Southampton, the midfielder has scored ten goals in 39 outings across the competitions and by converting 14 free-kicks during his ongoing Premier League career has closed in on the record by United great David Beckham (18).

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