Following Ralph Hasenhuttl’s most recent comments on the future of striker Danny Ings, some Southampton fans may be beginning to worry that the 28-year-old’s future lies elsewhere.
During an interview with Sky Sports, the Austrian manager urged the Englishman to sign a new deal with the club, saying:
“It’s normal that you get a situation like he has in a football club, and this is something special I think.” I don’t want him to throw this away for a few more monies.
“I speak to him once or twice a month about this topic. We must concentrate on our job here. I don’t speak to him every week about his contract. It’s not my job.
“It’s his responsibility. He has to take the decision. Nobody else. He has to take the decision then live with the fact that he did this or that.”
The 28-year-old has been a vital part of the Southampton side since joining from Liverpool in the summer of 2019, with him having contributed an impressive 38 goals and eight assists in 75 appearances for the Saints (per Transfermarkt).
His performances last season, which earned him an excellent 7.12 average rating in the Premier League, attracted the interest of Tottenham Hotspur during the summer, which may well be in the back of Ings’ mind as he considers whether or not to sign a new deal.
Southampton must be careful not to have a repeat of the situation that saw Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg join the Lilywhites this summer, as the Danish international’s contract situation at the time allowed Spurs to seal a cut-price deal for the defensive midfielder.
Unfortunately for Saints fans, Hasenhuttl’s comments on Ings seem rather similar to the ones he made about Hojbjerg before he left, as he said:
“What can I say? I can say that we have a player here that has one more year contract and he’s our player, we’d like him to stay as long as he has a contract.
“If somebody else wants to get him, then they must make a good offer.
“And even then, we have to decide, we as a club, the player has to decide, so we have to find a win-win situation and then everybody is happy.
“As long as we don’t have this, he is our player and he will stay with us.
“He wants to give everything as long as he is with us. This is what I expect because he is our player, he gets money from us, he’s paid by us. This is what he should do.” (per Sky Sports)
Therefore, Martin Semmens and the other members of the Southampton board must make a brave call and break the bank, and the club’s wage structure if necessary, if they want to keep Ings at the club. His importance cannot be underestimated in this Saints side.