Southampton identify Danny Ings replacement with Newcastle clause to affect transfer price

Transfer update: Arsenal 'plan' player-plus-cash Maddison move

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Southampton want to sign Blackburn’s prolific frontman Adam Armstrong after agreeing the shock sale of Danny Ings to Aston Villa yesterday for a fee of £30million. Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed that the club will immediately reinvest in a new striker following the sobering hammer blow that came to light just before the Saints’ 1-0 pre-season friendly win over Levante last night.

Express Sport understands that £20million-rated Armstrong is at the top of Southampton’s shortlist and there has been strong interest in the player all summer.

The 24-year-old struck 28 times in the Championship last season, only Brentford’s Golden Boot winner Ivan Toney managed more (31).

Yet Blackburn are expected to use Southampton’s desperation to their advantage when the two clubs begin formal discussions.

The Championship side now know the Saints have money to spend and ideally, they will want a new face through the door before next Saturday’s Premier League opener at Everton.

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Newcastle are also set to complicate negotiations between the two clubs, though.

The Magpies will receive a significant cut of any fee having negotiated a 40 per cent sell-on clause when offloading the forward to Rovers for an initial £1.75m in August 2018.

Both Watford and Norwich are said to have seen offers rejected by Blackburn this summer, according to reports.

There is some suggestion that Southampton could look to use 21-year-old Michael Obafemi as makeweight in a potential player-plus-cash deal.

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Blackburn are not thought to be keen on a swap deal though and would prefer straight cash for their star striker.

Southampton boss Hasenhuttl has revealed he was not as surprised as others following Ings’ move to Villa Park and he thanked the striker for his service during their time together at St Mary’s.

“It is not a shock for me. We are well informed about what is going on behind the scenes,” he said last night.

“It is clear that we had a player that did not want to sign for us anymore. It is fantastic that we have got a lot of money for him.

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“He scored a lot of goals for this club. It is a pity that he leaves but that is the business.

“I just want to say thank you to him for what he did here.

“We can replace him with the money we have got.”

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