Southampton Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed his frustration after star striker Danny Ings rejected a new contract to stay at Southampton.
Ings, who is entering the final season of a three-year deal, is reportedly hoping to test himself at a higher level after scoring 12 goals for Southampton last season.
The contract offer would’ve made reportedly Ings the highest paid player in the club’s history.
But Hasenhuttl has urged Ings to stay put at the Saints despite interest from elsewhere.
‘We need this player, we want him to play for us. But it’s never helpful to go into the last season with one year left – this is what I think he should know. Messages like he doesn’t accept our contract, he doesn’t want to extend his contract, doesn’t help nobody, not him, not us,’ he told BBC Radio Solent.
‘I don’t know who sent these messages, it’s not coming from our side, definitely not. We have no interest in blaming the player or finding he’s not feeling good here at this club, no interest in not helping perform the best he can for us. It’s his position and if it’s like this, it would be a pity,’ he added.
If Ings continues to refuse a new contract, Hasenhuttl and Southampton will have a decision to make – to sell him or risk losing him for free next summer.
Tottenham are among the clubs reportedly interested in buying the former Liverpool striker, with new boss Nuno Espirito Santo wanting to partner Ings with fellow England international Harry Kane.
Despite the interest, it seems that Hasenhuttl is holding firm on his stance that Ings is not for sale.. for now.
‘He’s our player for another year, we paid a lot of money for him. When we brought him here, we invested a lot to get him to the highest level and how he is at the moment. We stuck with him with all these injuries he had, gave him the time to recover, gave him the time to perform,’ Hasenhuttl said
‘There’s no reason to sell him, but it’s always a risk for the player when you go into your final year without a contract… injuries can happen, which nobody wants. One thing is also clear – when he is not extending his contract, that it is not a perfect situation for him, it’s not a perfect situation for us,’ he added.
For more stories like this, check our sport page