Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed his frustration at Danny Ings not signing a new deal with Southampton amid transfer interest from Tottenham.
Ings is entering the final season of the three-year contract he signed in summer 2019, and if the club cannot agree terms with him, they will either have to sell him or risk losing him for free in 2022.
And Hasenhuttl told BBC Radio Solent – with heavy understatement – that uncertainty regarding the star striker’s future was ‘not a perfect situation’.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed his frustration with Danny Ings (above) rejecting a new contract
Southampton’s star striker Ings is reportedly wanted by Tottenham’s new manager Nuno Espirito Santo to partner fellow England international Harry Kane (left) up front for the club
He said: ‘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 (sic) – not him, not us.
‘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.’
Spurs and new boss Nuno Espirito Santo reportedly want to buy Ings for £20million to partner Harry Kane up front, with the three-cap England international keen to test himself at a higher level and play Champions League football.
Austrian boss Hasenhuttl (pictured) described his disappointment at ‘not a perfect situation’
Ings reportedly rejected a contract to make him the highest-paid player in Saints history
With reports stating the former Liverpool man has, in that context, rejected a four-year deal which would make him the highest-paid player in the club’s history, Austrian manager Hasenhuttl expressed his disappointment with the situation.
He added: ‘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.
‘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.’