Danny Ings ‘holds off on signing a new four-year contract to become Southampton’s highest-ever earner because he wants to join a Champions League team next season’
Southampton have been dealt a potential hammer blow with striker Danny Ings refraining from committing his long-term future to the club as he seeks Champions League football.
According to the Telegraph, Ings has been offered a new four-year contract at St Mary’s that will make him the best-paid player in their history – surpassing captain James Ward-Prowse and goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
However, the 28-year-old is holding off on putting pen to paper on the agreed terms as he wants to return to the highest level again. Tottenham were interested in him during the previous transfer window but plumped for cheaper alternative Carlos Vinicius instead.
Southampton striker Danny Ings is holding off signing a new contract with the club at present
He’d like to play for a Champions League team next season so is keeping his options open
Ings currently has just under 18 months on his current deal and Southampton would look to cash in on their talisman this summer. It is believed that their No 9 would like a release clause inserted into any new deal but that is not on the table as it would limit the fee Saints could get for him.
Southampton currently sit four points outside the top four and speaking on Tuesday night, their manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was confident of keeping Ings.
‘I think if he wants Champions League football, he scores 10 or 12 more goals we can get there,’ he said. ‘Not impossible.’
Ings’ bid to return to the top is not money-motivated as he wants to test himself at the highest level once more after his spell at Liverpool was beset by injuries. He briefly sampled Champions League football there.
After joining the Reds in 2015 his first training session under Jurgen Klopp in October saw him injure an anterior cruciate ligament. Thirteen months later he was out for another season after suffering a cartilage injury.
The 28-year-old has sampled Champions League football before during his time at Liverpool
Having left Liverpool for Southampton in 2018, initially on a loan deal for one year and then a three-year contract, the Premier League champions would be due a percentage of any sell-on fee.
Since joining Southampton he has been relatively injury-free and his stunning form there – he scored 25 goals in all competitions last season – saw him earn an England recall.
Ings’ brilliant form has continued this term – with the striker notching seven goals in 14 appearances.
If Ings were to sign a new contract he would follow in the footsteps of fellow key first-team stars Ward-Prowse, Stuart Armstrong, Oriol Romeu and Jan Bednarek. The club are also in talks with Ryan Bertrand over extending his stay too.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl (left) hopes his talisman will remain with the club