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Ralph Hasenhuttl is adamant Southampton won’t be pressured into selling Danny Ings, but admits the situation regarding his contract is “not perfect”.
The 28-year-old has just 12 months remaining on his current deal with the Saints and thus far, has yet to agree to an extension.
Reports have suggested that Ings would like a crack at European football and would be open to joining one of the top Premier League clubs.
A host of teams have been linked with the former Liverpool striker, including Manchester United, Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea.
Hasenhuttl has offered a candid update on the striker’s update, acknowledging that it is a massive risk to potentially lose their most prized asset for free next summer.
Danny Ings Is set to become a free agent at the end of the season
(Image: Getty Images)
"He's our player for another year, we paid a lot of money for him,” the Austrian told BBC Radio Solent. “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.
He continued: "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.
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“That's why it's never good for anybody, not for us, not for him, because you never know what can happen in football – injuries can happen, which nobody wants.”
"People on our team are telling him what to do, we have our opinions about what we want him to do.
“He's our player and we'd love him to be here, but 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."
The Saints boss admits that the situation surrounding Ings' future is far from ideal
There have been several reports suggesting Ings is unwilling to agree to a new deal and Hasenhuttl has said “it’s a pity” that has been leaked to the media.
"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 added.
“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 that 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."
Southampton paid Liverpool £20m for Ings in July 2019, going on to score 34 Premier League goals in the last two seasons.
BBC add that there have been no firm enquiries or bids for the player at this point.
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