Celtic have reportedly twice missed out on the chance to land current Aston Villa striker Danny Ings over the last decade, with the Parkhead outfit likely ruing their inability to sign a player who has been a real potent threat in front of goal in recent years.
The Winchester-born marksman was reportedly a target for the Old Firm outfit prior to the January transfer window in 2014, with then-Hoops boss Neil Lennon said to have sent assistant coach Gerry Parker to watch the Englishman in action for Burnley.
No move came to fruition, however, as the centre-forward ended the 2013/14 campaign with an impressive haul of 21 goals and seven assists in 41 Championship games, with the Glasgow side ultimately signing Leigh Griffiths in that winter window – a player who enjoyed a mixed stint with the Scottish giants.
After subsequently impressing in the Premier League the following season at Turf Moor – scoring 11 league goals – Ings was then snapped by Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side on a ‘free’ transfer in 2015, albeit with the Anfield outfit forced to fork out around £8m in compensation.
After three, injury-plagued years on Merseyside that saw him make just 25 appearances in all competitions, the 5 foot 10 menace was ultimately snapped up by Southampton on an initial loan deal in 2018, albeit with the Hoops having reportedly been keen on a deal themselves.
Amid that speculation, however, then-boss Rodgers had quashed suggestions that he was looking to reunite with the forward at Celtic Park, with the Northern Irishman insisting that he had ample depth in the striking department in the form of Griffiths, Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele.
That decision not to pursue a deal ultimately backfired as the Scottish Premiership side saw Dembele depart for Ligue 1 side Lyon in the same window, while Ings went on to sparkle during his time at St Mary’s.
The one-time Bournemouth striker scored 46 goals in just 100 games during his time with the Saints – having signed permanently in 2019 – after emerging as one of the league’s “most prolific strikers” in the words of writer Daniel Bettridge.
A move to Villa Park followed last summer for the “phenomenal finisher” – as dubbed by pundit Noel Whelan – with the 30-year-old having since registered 16 goal contributions in just 38 games for the Midlands side.
It will no doubt remain a real source of frustration for those at Parkhead that they were unable to land a player who now has 110 club career goals to his name, with such an asset likely to have sparkled north of the border.