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Manchester United and Arsenal have been handed a surprise left-field option in their pursuit of attacking reinforcements with Aston Villa reportedly willing to listen to offers for Danny Ings. The former Southampton man arrived in the Midlands last summer in a shock £25million deal but it appears Steven Gerrard has already agreed to offload the 29-year-old, who managed just seven Premier League goals this season.
Ings, for one reason or another, has struggled to nail down a place in the Villa starting XI since the appointment of Gerrard last November.
The former Liverpool captain seems set on operating with a 4-3-3 system and with Ollie Watkins preferred in attack, Ings has been in and out of the side.
On the basis of last season, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out for the centre-forward long-term having previously played his best football in a two-man attack with Southampton.
According to 90min, Villa would now be willing to consider offers for Ings, who could be heading towards a swift departure from the Midlands.
While he’s not a player likely to jump out at the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, he would represent a smart, left-field back-up option in attack.
Furthermore, he is also a homegrown player who ticks an important box for Premier League clubs.
The signing of Ings would also allow suitors to save money for other big-money targets.
United have been linked with Ings in the past and with Cristiano Ronaldo expected to remain the main man in attack under Erik ten Hag, there are doubts as to whether the Red Devils need another world-class centre-forward.
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While they are also expected to use a 4-3-3 formation again, there will be plenty of football to share out in the Europa League.
The same would apply to Arsenal, who are in the market for at least one new striker – preferably two.
Gabriel Jesus is the club’s top target but they need some extra quality in reserve.
Eddie Nketiah is set to sign a new contract and he will help share out the games throughout a long season.
But given that Arsenal may be limited in the calibre of player they can attract due to the lack of Champions League football, Ings could be a viable option.
He is only likely to cost up to £20m – which is a respectable figure for someone who certainly knows how to score in the Premier League.
It’s clear that both United and Arsenal are unlikely to explore a deal but it’s the kind of shrewd acquisition that could actually pay off if either were bold enough to think outside the box.
Ings is still far from done at the top level – despite two serious knee injuries – and he has shown time and time again in recent seasons that he is capable of finding the net.
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