It Is Career Or Cash Decision For Both Danny Ings And Southampton As Man City Hover
Tuesday, 23rd Mar 2021 10:20
With the big media hitters claiming that Manchester City will look to replace Sergio Aquero with Danny Ings, both Southampton Football Club and Danny Ings have a big decision to make in the summer.
The fact that Danny Ings has not signed a new deal is both good and bad news for Saints, it is good because it means they can still get top dollar for the player should they choose to cash in this summer and they therefore have some control over the situation, it is bad because we would far rather have the player than not.
The stalling point over the contract seems to be about a clause where the player can leave if a set fee is met, the figure of £10 million has been bandied about and to be blunt if we agreed to that amount we would be mad, Spurs would be on the phone before the ink was dry on the paper.
The issue though is Ing's age he will be 29 in the summer and this is his last big decision, but more of that later.
Back to the get out clause, £10 million is too low, as it stands Saints would be looking for 3 times that for a player with his scoring record, perhaps even more, but the issue here is age.
If Saints cannot get Ings agent to agree a get out clause of around £30 million then we are better letting him run into the last year of his contract than sell him for £10 million.
Ing's goals for even a last season and then seeing him leave for free will be a better scenario than selling him for a derisory £10 million, so from this perspective we are in control of the situation, although as we know from the Virgil Van Dijk situation 4 years ago, contracts mean nothing is a player is willing to force the issue, back then the club did everything to keep the player and not sell him, but Van Dijk was willing to go to extremes to get to Anfield, although not as far as putting in a transfer request and therefore foregoing a cut in the deal.
In Ings case there is a clause where Liverpool will be entitled to a proportion of the fee if Ings is sold, so that is another consideration for Saints.
So the decision for Saints will be one purely of money, it has to be more than worthwhile to sell him and at £2 million per League placing it is not hard to make up any money lost be potentially letting him go for free at a derisory price.
But for Danny Ings it will be a far more difficult decision, based purely on his career, it would be a no brainer if a truly big club came in for him, this will be his last big move, injury ruined his shot at glory at Anfield, now he may get a second chance, but to be blunt it has to be at a club that can truly compete.
That rules out Spurs, the last month or so has shown they are in just as much turmoil as ever, a couple of years ago they seemed on the verge of a breakthrough when they got into the Champions League final, but with their chances of a Champions League place let alone another final looking dodgy and Mourinho doing his usual stay two years and off act looking likely at the end of the season, going to Spurs would not be a good career option.
The same could be said for Arsenal and even Liverpool and with Manchester United's worries being about conceding goals not scoring them, that leaves just two destinations that would tempt Danny.
The first Chelsea are reviving under Tuchel and could be a good option if they chose to make a move and they have the money to wave at Saints and not act all Tottenham Hotspur and haggle, but they will be looking longer term for a striker and at 29 Ing's won't be considered that.
So that leaves just one left in the running and that is today's lined club Manchester City, they have money to burn, their rise in the last couple of years has been obscene, their second XI cost twice as much as most other clubs best 11 players, they have created two squads so they can challenge on all fronts and this they are doing this season with a quadruple still on the cards.
So for City spending £30 million on Danny Ings is small change, but what would his role be at the Etihad ?
The question for Danny would be not about money, that would be taken care of, not about winning things, that would also be a given, but the real question is how much game time would he actually get ?
At Saints it would be every game as long as he is fit, if he stays fit and keeps scoring he will more than likely make the England squad for next years World Cup, but at City he will not play so much.
He is touted as the replacement for Sergio Aquero, but Aqueros role in the Premier League has gone over the last two years, last season he started just 18 games, this season just 4 with the same number off the bench, yes injury and illness has played a part in that, but even when fit in the 15 games he was in the Premier League squad he was on the bench 11 times of those with just those 4 starts.
A similar story in the Champions League, on the bench for 4 of the 5 games he was fit for and the same story in the other cup competitions.
So Danny Ings will not go to Manchester City as Roy Of The Rovers, the player who will fire them to glory, they don't need him for that, he will go for the best seat in the house on the City bench where he will watch them win a lot of games, but will not get much game time.
He will get medals, he will get glory and he will get money, he will get to celebrate the trophies, but he will have that feeling that he didn't play much part in it overall, there will be some vital goals, but most will be about finishing off a lowly Premier League club or in the early rounds of the Cup competitions.
Forget the World Cup next summer !
So it is going to be a tough decision for Danny Ings, no one can blame him for wanting a last stab at glory, if he does leave he should do so with our praise ringing in his ears, our thanks for some glorious moments heartfelt, it will not be a lack of ambition from Saints as a club, it will be the reality of modern football, certain clubs can afford to do and get what they want and Manchester City are one of them.
But it is not a foregone conclusion, Danny will look at what the other clubs can offer and balance it up, he needs to be at a club where he will play regularly otherwise he will end his career going to the same number of World Cups as me, he needs to go to a club where he can win trophies otherwise there is no point.
Could Saints themselves offer that, if we were to get to the FA Cup Final that would make him think, if we were to win it then he would not only have a winners medal, but we would be in Europe next season and that would also be attractive to him.
The one thing that no one knows is how much genuine interest is actually out there and if anyone has got any money, football clubs usually unless they are Spurs don't go around telling you who they are chasing, they keep it quite and get the deal done, are City really interested or is it Danny Ing's agent upping the ante, or is it Harry Kane's agent trying to push his man into the fore or even someone close to Spurs trying to stir things up.
Money is a big factor and most clubs haven't got much as they are losing money hand over foot at the moment, Spurs took out a £175 million government bounce back loan last summer, Manchester United had to borrow £60 million themselves and most clubs are in the same boat.
Forget sugar daddies, no one these days buys a football club to spend millions bailing it out, they don't put in their own money to throw it down the drain, they secure it against the club.
They have to sell before they can buy, but they can't sell as no one has any money to buy it is a vicious circle.
So what might keep Danny Ings at Saints is not the usual things but Covid 19.
Personally I am not worried if Danny Ings leaves Saints, I would rather him stay, but everyone has to leave sometimes, the trick for clubs like Saints is letting them go at the right time for the right money and then reinvesting that money and repeating the process time and time again.
If that doesn't sound the sort of football club you want to support, then Saints isn't your team, throughout our history this is the way we operate and the way we have managed to compete with the big clubs, money is no guarantee of success !
Photo: Action Images
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