Relegation is edging closer and closer for Southampton, which could seal Newcastle target James Ward-Prowse’s fate at St Mary’s.

Newcastle have been linked with a move for Ward-Prowse, who could be on his way out of Southampton if they drop down to the Championship.

That is what has been reported in the media, with claims suggesting that the Saints will allow their captain to leave if they drop out of the Premier League.

That is looking more and more likely, with Southampton losing yet again on Monday night. They were beaten 4-3 by Nottingham Forest, who massively boosted their survival hopes with a huge win at the City Ground.

A late Ward-Prowse penalty was not enough for the away side, who remain rooted to the bottom of the table with 24 points. They are now eight points adrift with three games to go, meaning that relegation could be confirmed as early as next weekend.

Nottingham Forest v Southampton FC - Premier League
Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Ward-Prowse only focussed on Southampton for now

Following the defeat to Forest, Ward-Prowse spoke to Hampshire Live, and was asked if there was any truth in claims he will be sold if the Saints are relegated.

“Nothing in that, no,” he said.

“The club know my thoughts and my position in terms of what I want to achieve in my career, and nothing has changed within that despite where we are in the league.

“I want to give my all for this football club. and I always have done. Every time I put the shirt on I always give 100% and that’s no different whether we lose our next game or we win it, it won’t change who I am as a person and that’s giving everything for this club.

“For me, it’s just being focused on where I am now and giving my all for this club, which I always have done since I was eight years old. So that for me doesn’t change. What happens beyond that, who knows, I don’t know. But I’m just focused on doing everything I can in the next three games to give the club the chance to stay in the Premier League.”

Nottingham Forest v Southampton FC - Premier League
Photo by Paul Greenwood – CameraSport via Getty Images

Newcastle and others on standby

While Ward-Prowse has not stated that he wants to leave, he has not said that he wants to stay either. His only focus is the battle to avoid relegation, but that could all be over as early as next Saturday.

If, or more likely when, relegation is confirmed, it is likely that rumours surrounding JWP’s future will begin to swirl. He is reportedly a target for Newcastle, with Eddie Howe eyeing midfield reinforcements. While he would not be a guaranteed starter at St James’ Park, he would certainly add more depth to an ever-improving squad.

It was recently reported that the Magpies and Tottenham are waiting to discover how much the 28-year-old will cost, while Kieran Trippier has joked about tapping him up over a move to Tyneside.

It feels like we are waiting for the inevitable now. Relegation is all but certain, which looks likely to lead to Ward-Prowse’s departure. Whether or not it leads him to Newcastle, however, remains to be seen.

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