Carla Ward is confident Hannah Hampton will be an Aston Villa player next season, with the Villa boss insisting the goalkeeper is 'not going anywhere' in the summer.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed another stellar season in the WSL, and was rewarded with her senior England debut against Spain in February. She has gone on to impress in both of her outings for the Lionesses.
Hampton joined Villa from Birmingham in July 2021 - a move that saw her reunite with former Blues boss Ward - and still has another year remaining on her contract. There has been speculation of interest in the goalkeeper from other WSL sides and teams in Europe, but Ward emphasised Villa's desire to keep her.
"100%, she's not going anywhere," Ward said. "She's contracted, we want to kick on and move forward. I've seen quite a lot of nonsense around it this week, and it is nonsense because she's an Aston Villa player, she's my first choice keeper. She's a keeper who can, for me, go on to be one of the world's best, not just England's best, I think she can be one of the world's best.
"Why would we want to let go of one of our top, top players? We wouldn't. Obviously there's a price and everyone's head and you know what, money talks some times. But for me she's not for sale, she'll be here next year, we want her here. Hannah's a top, top player and someone we want to keep at this club."
On the topic of potential comings and goings in the summer, Ward added that she would like to see both Anna Patten and Jill Scott back at the club next season.
The pair joined Villa on loan in January from Arsenal and Manchester City respectively, and have featured heavily for Ward's side in the second half of the season prior to illness and injury disrupting their end to the campaign.
"The impact she's made at Villa has been great," Ward said of Scott. "Whether we can make it work for a number of reasons we'll wait and see, but 100% we'd like to bring Jill back next season. I think she's been great for the players, great for me, someone that I've also learnt from and absolutely if we had the opportunity to bring her back we would."
When asked whether there was a chance of Patten returning to the club either permanently or on loan, Ward added: "Yeah I'd like to think so. We want top players here next season. Did the loan work? Absolutely. It's conversations that we'll continue to have with Arsenal and hopefully we can get something sorted."