The star players at St Mary’s want the club to break their wage structure, amid interest from top-six sides in the Premier League
Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand want to leave Southampton unless the club break their current wage structure to offer bumper new deals, Goal can confirm.
Both left-back Bertrand and striker Ings have interest from top-six Premier League clubs and are both keen to return to Champions League sides, having previously played for Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.
Southampton are unwilling to break their wage structure even for two key players, meaning the England international pair are likely to leave St Mary’s either this month or in the summer.
Both Bertrand and Ings have emerged as essential first-team fixtures under Ralph Hasenhuttl at St Mary’s, having had careers at top-six sides scuppered by lack of opportunities or injuries.
Bertrand, 31, played for Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final – becoming the first ever player to make his competition debut in the showpiece game – as they beat Bayern Munich on penalties, and also won the FA Cup and Europa League with the Blues.
However, he never nailed down a regular starting role for the club, moving to Southampton in a permanent deal in 2015, where he has been a key figure ever since.
Bertrand’s contract expires in the summer and he is delaying signing a new deal unless they offer a significant pay rise. That could make him a free agent at the end of the season, or Southampton could decide to cash in this month if no deal can be reached.
Despite his age, Bertrand’s quality, experience and status as a home-grown player – he has 19 senior England caps – mean he has interest from clubs currently fighting for Champions League spots.
Ings, meanwhile, has impressed at Southampton since his permanent move to the club from Liverpool in 2019. The 28-year-old had a promising start to his time at Anfield scuppered by a knee ligament injury and he was eventually allowed to restart his career on the south coast.
In 2019-20, Ings enjoyed one of his most prolific seasons to date, netting 25 goals in all competitions and coming second in the Premier League Golden Boot, behind only Leicester striker Jamie Vardy.
Earlier this month, Ings scored his 50th Premier League goal with an early winner against former club Liverpool.
Ings has a deal at Southampton until 2022, but like Bertrand wants a big pay rise in order to extend his stay. He is also wanted by Champions League sides in England, having shown again the potential that led Liverpool to sign him from Burnley in 2015.