Southampton’s plans for the new season have suffered a huge setback after talismanic striker Danny Ings rejected the new four-year deal offered to him.
The 28-year-old has excelled since leaving Liverpool for the south coast. His all-action displays and clinical finishing have led many to believe he could easily enhance the forward ranks of a club challenging for top honours.
But with just a year left on his deal, Southampton had made it a priority to tie down their star man.
However, The Athletic claims on Monday that Ings has now rejected Southampton’s offer of a new four-year deal.
Ings and his agent have been in lengthy negotiations with Saints. There had been some optimism from Southampton that he would commit.
But Ings has stunned Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side by snubbing the contract put before him.
As such, the south-coast club may be backed into a corner and forced to sell the England striker rather than lose him for free in 12 months time.
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Ings has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent months. Despite pinning Edinson Cavani down to a new deal, reports have suggested the veteran Uruguayan has reached an agreement to move elsewhere.
And that would leave an opening in the United squad to move for Ings.
Tottenham are also in the market for a new striker this summer. Spurs continue to dig their heels in over the future of Harry Kane. Nonetheless, they still need another option with Carlos Vinicius having returned to Benfica.
Ings giving little away over future
Speaking towards the end of the season, Ings was giving little away when questioned about a possible exit.
“I’ve got a contract until the summer of 2022,” Ings said. “I haven’t really acknowledged them [transfer rumours]. I’ve just been focused on each game. Ultimately, I’ve still got a contract here.
“My main focus is to finish the season strong.”
Hasenhuttl also seemed pretty hopeful at the time that Ings would extend his stay .
“I am confident that he will stay with us,” he bluntly told reporters.