Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admits the contract situation of Danny Ings is far from ideal but has made it clear that he has no intention of selling the England striker.
Ings has been at St Mary’s for three seasons, the first of which was on loan from Liverpool. He penned a permanent three-year deal in the summer of 2019 and went on to score 25 goals in 2019-2020. Injuries hampered his progress last term and the 28-year-old managed 13 in 33 outings.
Despite his lack of game time in 2020-21, the man with three England caps still looks to be in demand. Tottenham have been heavily linked with a summer swoop.
The north Londoners may be planning for life after Harry Kane if the England skipper does leave for Manchester City. But that particular transfer has a long way to run before the ink is dry on any contract.
Nevertheless, Spurs do seem eager to land Ings despite rumours of bad blood between the clubs. Reports claim Daniel Levy’s negotiating tactics over Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg left south-coast officials frustrated.
But it could be Levy who is fuming on this occasion, as Hasenhuttl set out his stall on the issue.
“He has one more year left in our club, we need this player, we want him to play for us,” he told BBC Radio Solent. “But it’s never helpful to go into a season with only one year left and I think he should also know.”
Hasenhuttl sets record straight on Ings rumours
This time of year sees the rumour mill turning and players linked with all manner of clubs. The news surrounding Ings has centred on him not wanting to extend his deal with Saints.
And the boss believes that headlines about the former Burnley ace do more harm than good.
“Messages like ‘he doesn’t want to sign a contract’ doesn’t help anybody, doesn’t help him or us,” the Austrian added. “I don’t know who said these messages to be honest, it’s not coming from our side, definitely not.
“We have no interest to blame the player or find him not feeling good here, not helping him to perform the best he can for us. It’s his decision but anyway he is our player for another year, we paid a lot of money for him when we brought him here.”
Southampton will not want to risk losing him for nothing next summer. And Hasenhuttl is wise enough to know that anything can happen in the world of football.
“He has his people around him telling him what to do, we have our opinions of what we want him to do, he’s our player and we’d love him to be here,” he continued.
“One thing is clear, that it is not a perfect situation.”