Real Madrid's attempts to pry Bale away from Tottenham are well-publicised, with a world-record transfer bid reportedly on the table.
However, the drain of talented teenagers away from St Mary's now looks to be coming to a halt.
Calum Chambers penned a four-year deal at Saints on Wednesday despite overtures from Chelsea, while left-back Luke Shaw recently celebrated his 18th birthday with a new five-year contract.
Ward-Prowse is another teenager tied to a long-term deal and believes there are few better places for a young player to be right now.
"We see the pathway that the chairman has put in place for us," the 18-year-old midfielder told Press Association Sport.
"We know there is a chance for us to play in the first team - it is up to us to go and grab the opportunity.
"We are being provided that opportunity here so there is no reason why not to go and grab it.
"Obviously it showed with me and Luke last year that there is that pathway there, and obviously there was Alex previously. It is up to go and take the chances.
- Sports & Recreation
- Theo Walcott