Premier League heavyweights closely monitoring Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse

Southampton Football Club

HITC Sport understands that the England U21 international is drawing admiring glances from afar.

Chelsea and Manchester City are both keeping regular tabs on Southampton star James Ward-Prowse, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the mooted interest.

Ward-Prowse, the new England Under-21 captain, is making fine strides on the South Coast at St Mary’s.

With nearly 100 first-team games under his belt, he is already emerging as one of the best young English prospects in the Premier League.

And it is little surprise that Portsmouth-born Ward-Prowse is already attracting interest, with a number of Southampton’s top-flight rivals understood to be watching him closely.

Southampton, though, are no strangers to their top talent being monitored – indeed, if anything there is no club in England more versed. They have sold the likes of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Morgan Schneiderlin in recent seasons – but all were sold at their behest.

And there is no likelihood of them entertaining any interest in Ward-Prowse at this junction as the player is firmly tied into a contract until 2020.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch