Danny Ings is stalling on signing a new contract at Southampton with the forward keen on a return to a Champions League club this summer.
Ings has starred since signing for Southampton on an initial loan deal two-and-a-half years ago, with the 28-year-old finishing as the runner-up for the Premier League‘s Golden Boot last season and forcing his way back into the England squad as a result of his fine form.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are keen to secure the long-term future of their leading goal threat and have offered Ings a deal that would make him the highest-paid player in the club’s history, the striker’s current deal having just 18 months left to run.
According to the Telegraph though, Ings is stalling on signing the new deal with the England international eyeing a potential return to a Champions League club this summer, having seen a three-year spell with Liverpool ravaged by two serious knee injuries.
Ings suffered an anterior cruciate knee ligament just months after arriving at Anfield in what was Jurgen Klopp’s first training session as manager, before suffering a second serious knee injury just over a year later.
Since arriving at Southampton, the forward has shown that he could play a role at a top four side, however, and with several of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ anticipated to be in the market for a striker this summer the star is currently keeping his options open.
Hasenhuttl has discussed the player’s future and whilst admitting that Ings is an ‘important player’ for the club, suggested that the Saints could be prepared to do business if an offer arrived that suited all parties this summer.
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“We are in a situation where every club is struggling with finances,” Hasenhuttl said. “We as a club must be strong to keep our limits at what we have financially. We are not gambling or playing a game here. We are trying to keep the club in a healthy way and it is not only about Ingsy, there are others who also want to extend their contract.
“If it is not what we expect to pay in the future, then we have to look for somebody else who is cheaper, but we know it always should be win-win for both. If they want to make the next step in the summer to a bigger club and there is an offer fitting to the player, then we can always negotiate.
“We know we are not the end of the ranking or the top of the ranking, but in the end, we have a good core who are committed. Every player is invited to do it within our limits.
“I think Danny shows us that he wants to be with the club, we know that he is an important player for us. I hope that we find an agreement and finally he stays with us. If not, life will go on and this club will also exist and hopefully, we can find a way that we can both live with.”
Ings has made 12 league starts for Southampton in the Premier League this season, scoring seven goals and the club are understood not to be prepared to put a release clause in any new contract.