James Ward-Prowse has been left out of Southampton’s squad to face Bournemouth on Tuesday night.
The midfielder has been the subject of intense transfer speculation after the Saints were relegated from the Premier League.
But his omission from the squad on Tuesday night has been put down as a precautionary measure after injuring his knee.
However, it will do little to quell the rumours that Ward-Prowse could be on his way out of Southampton.
West Ham are the most interested in the England international as they look to replace Declan Rice.
The Hammers sold Rice to Arsenal for £105million but have been left with a gaping hole in their midfield.
Ward-Prowse is one of several targets David Moyes wants to sign with the Hammers valuing him at around £25million.
However talkSPORT understands that Southampton wouldn’t consider selling their talisman for that amount.
Despite the precautionary measures over his knee injury, the 28-year-old is expected to be fit for the weekend when the Championship outfit take on AZ Alkmaar.
The Englishman has spent his entire professional career at Southampton after coming up through the ranks at their prestigious academy.
He has made 409 appearances for the Saints and is their captain but his quality means it will difficult for them to keep him in the Championship.