Exclusive – Leicester and Everton have joined the race for Southampton striker Danny Ings, who is yet to commit his long-term future to the club.
Ings saw a dream move to Liverpool ruined by long-term knee injuries and left Anfield, initially on loan, in 2018 just as Jurgen Klopp was beginning to bring success back to the club.
The former Burnley star has since rediscovered his best form at Southampton and scored 22 Premier League goals last season, only beaten to the Golden Boot by Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.
Ings is currently resisting Southampton’s attempts to secure his long-term future and 90min has learned that he has so far refused to sign a four-year contract on offer at St Mary’s.
His current deal has entered its final 18 months, leaving the Saints vulnerable to potential bids despite the impact that coronavirus has had on club finances.
The 28-year-old feels he has the ability to be playing for a club challenging for a Champions League place, and while Southampton are on course for a first top half finish since 2016/17, it’s unlikely that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will have enough in the tank to push on and match Ings’ top four ambitions.
Leicester and Everton, on the other hand, have shown they can realistically challenge the Premier League’s elite. Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes are currently third in the table, just two points off the top, while Everton are only two points off the top four and have at least one game in hand on every side currently above them.
Tottenham are another club keeping an eye on Ings, who has every chance of being selected by Gareth Southgate for England’s European Championship squad in the summer.
If Southampton cannot persuade him to sign a contract, they may ultimately be forced to let Ings go this summer in fear that he could leave the club as a free agent in 2022.
They will, however, not entertain letting him go this month as they still hope to persuade Ings that his long-term future lays down on the south coast.