Aston Villa mean business this summer, there can be no doubt about that. They’ve just completed and confirmed the signing of Danny Ings from Southampton, which comes a big surprise given that nothing had been previously reported on their interest in the striker.
The transfer fee remains officially undisclosed, but reports suggest it amounts to £30 million, with Liverpool entitled to £2m of that money under the terms of their agreement with Southampton from 2019. Ings follows attacking midfielder Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City, forward Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen, and left-back Ashley Young from Inter Milan on the path to Villa Park.
Young has returned to the club as a free agent after his contract with Serie A champions expired, but none of the other three signings was cheap, and to cash in £30m for a player into his final year of contract is undoubtedly a great piece of business for Southampton. It seems Villa are already spending the Jack Grealish money, whose move to Manchester City for £100m is now reportedly imminent.
Ings was offered a new deal at St. Mary’s and Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was pretty confident the 29-year-old would be going nowhere, but in early July, reports broke that Ings had rejected the offer. Links with Tottenham Hotspur, who had tried to sign him in the past and were believed to be on the lookout for potential replacements for Harry Kane, appeared straight away. Manchester City and Manchester United were mentioned as well, but Aston Villa certainly weren’t.