Southampton striker Danny Ings has put his future at the club into doubt, after recently rejecting a new four-year contract extension to stay at St Mary’s.
The 28-year-old has rediscovered his goalscoring touch with the Saints following a difficult, injury-hit spell at Liverpool, yet he now appears set for pastures new after refusing to extend his current deal which expires in 2022.
The former Burnley man is said to be keen to test himself at a higher level after having netted 34 Premier League goals over the last two seasons.
So for those of you interested in Sports betting, we’ve decided to take a look at who the current bookies’ favourites are to make a move for the England international.
Here are the five favourites to sign Danny Ings this summer.
Leicester City 12/1
Ings has been tipped for a possible reunion with Brendan Rodgers at Leicester, the Northern Irishman having been in charge when the forward made the switch to Liverpool on a free transfer from Burnley back in 2015.
While their time together was undoubtedly brief with Rodgers receiving the sack just a few months into Ings’ time at Anfield, the Foxes boss is seemingly an admirer of the player and will be fully aware of his quality.
A move to a club that have Europa League football to look forward to next season and that are becoming regular top-four contenders could well be an attractive prospect for Ings, yet it remains to be seen whether Rodgers’ side actually needs him.
The club already have Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho as centre-forward options, while they have recently added to their ranks with the signing of highly-rated Zambian striker Patson Daka, who’s netted 51 league goals over the last two seasons for Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg.
The addition of yet another top-class striker would thus perhaps appear unlikely unless one of the names mentioned above is in line for a departure.
There’s no denying that Ings could well be a suitable replacement for Jamie Vardy in the future, but the Premier League title winner seems to be showing no signs of slowing down and will seemingly wish to extend his top-flight career for as long as possible after a late entry to professional football.
West Ham United 10/1
Unlike the club above, West Ham are not a side blessed with any real recognised centre-forward options and look certain to be making a foray into the transfer market for a new number nine this summer.
Like Leicester, the Hammers have Europa League football to offer next season and would appear to be a side on the up, having only narrowly missed out on a top-four spot at the end of a stellar campaign under David Moyes last term.
That success came with the Scotsman being without a real striking presence for much of the campaign, after allowing £40m flop Sebastian Haller to join Ajax in January.
While Michail Antonio has plugged the gap more than adequately in recent years, he has a knack for squandering opportunities and will need competition even if he starts the season as the first-choice striker.
With the likes of Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals behind him, Ings would certainly not be short of chances and could finally be the man to end the long-running striker’s curse at the club that has seen a succession of names fail to deliver.
Manchester United 9/1
Man United have been previously heavily linked with the former Reds man, with the centre-forward role still seemingly a problem position for the club, despite the arrival of Edinson Cavani last summer.
The Uruguayan has been rightly rewarded with a year’s extension after a fine debut campaign, yet at 34, it would appear unlikely that he can be the club’s regular starter, while current number nine Anthony Martial has been linked with an exit following a frustrating season for the Frenchman.
With the club having confirmed the signing of Borussia Dortmund wideman Jadon Sancho, it could well see teenage sensation Mason Greenwood deployed down the middle, meaning a striking addition could well hinder the young man’s game time.
That being said, with United hoping to challenge on all four fronts next season, there will be plenty of minutes available should Ings be brought in, while the club’s Europa League final defeat showcased a distinct lack of genuine attacking options on the bench.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have long been linked with a move for Norwegian starlet Erling Haaland, yet whether they win the race for his signature nor be able to match his transfer fee is another matter, with Ings’ contract situation meaning he will likely be a relatively cheap acquisition this summer.
Manchester City 9/2
The departure of Man City legend Sergio Aguero to Barcelona has left a gaping hole in the champions’ attack, particularly with fellow striker Gabriel Jesus still to really convince that he has the credentials to be a world class forward.
Of course, the most recent campaign saw City thrive despite the absence of either man for large chunks of the season, the deployment of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden etc in a false nine role paying dividends as the club romped to the Premier League title and claimed a fourth successive League Cup success.
However, as their Champions League final defeat illustrated, having a player with a real poacher’s instinct to convert chances is vital, with Ings one of the most proficient in the league at converting half-chances into goals.
That being said, it would appear that Pep Guardiola and co have their eyes on another Englishman, Three Lions skipper Harry Kane heavily linked with a move to the Etihad following a stellar individual campaign that saw him top the charts for both goals and assists in the top-flight.
While his future is still to be resolved post-Euro 2020, recent rumours have suggested that City are keen on a £100m deal for the striker and could even include a few of their wantaway stars as makeweight’s in the deal in order to tempt Daniel Levy into a sale.
Although it’s feasible that both Kane and Ings could make the switch to the club this summer – particularly if Gabriel Jesus departs – it is likely to be a case of one or none. With City interested in a big money deal for Jack Grealish, a cheaper alternative to Kane in the form of Ings could be attractive.
As ever, the summer window could spark something of a transfer merry-go-round, with moves elsewhere likely to influence how Tottenham’s attack looks at the start of the season.
As mentioned above, Kane’s future is still up in the air, leaving incoming boss Nuno Espirito Santo and new football director Fabio Paratici with a real headache over how to approach the market.
Should their talisman depart, there has been suggestions that Gabriel Jesus could make the move in the other direction as part of the deal, filling Spurs’ striking issue.
That being said, Jesus may still have a future at the Etihad, meaning a player such as Ings would be a suitable alternative, should Kane exit. At 28, Ings is near the same age as the England captain and could develop into a real coup should they sign him for a reduced fee and gain £100m plus for Kane.
He may not be quite at the quality of his England colleague, but Ings still registered 12 goals and four assists in the league last season and does have a Kane-esque knack of dropping deep to spark attacks, while possessing an excellent finishing ability.
There have of course been doubts over his fitness – which may put off any of the teams mentioned on this list – but Kane too hasn’t exactly been injury-free in recent years.
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The post Ranking the five favourites to sign Danny Ings this summer first appeared on The Football Faithful.
Author: Robbie Walls