Tottenham face serious struggle to sign Southampton star

Tottenham face a serious challenge in signing top transfer target Danny Ings this summer with Southampton specifically reluctant to do business with Spurs.

New Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo is keen to add the 28-year-old to his squad as a partner for Harry Kane next season after Ings rejected the offer of a new contract at St. Mary’s.

However, Southampton insist they have zero interest in selling their star striker this summer despite the fact he has just a year left on his current deal. Furthermore, the south coast club stress Spurs are the last Premier League club they would want to do business with.

Sources at Southampton claim relations with Tottenham have soured due to a bad experience when negotiating Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg’s transfer last summer, including attempts to turn the Dane’s head early in negotiations along with chairman Daniel Levy’s infamous hardball approach.

Ings, 28, has scored 46 goals in 100 appearances since joining his boyhood club from Liverpool.

The striker, who narrowly missed out on Gareth Southgate’s England squad this summer, is keen to test himself at the highest level once more after injury blighted his time at Anfield.

Former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was interested in signing Ings last summer but failed to make a move materialise.

Tottenham striker Kane is determined to leave the club this summer with Premier League champions Manchester City his preferred destination, though Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is insistent the England captain, who is yet to meet his new manager, will not be sold.

Spurs have long struggled to find a partner or understudy to Kane but Santo is keen to add Ings to his squad and is thought to want to play with the pair as a front two.

The former Wolves manager is also keen to bolster defensively and has been pressing to land 22-year-old Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bolonga. The defender can play either at right-back or centre-back, two positions Spurs struggled with under Mourinho last season.

There is also interest in Southampton’s Jannick Vestergaard, though again Spurs face a similar hurdle in negotiations with the club. Southampton would want more than the £18million they paid for the defender if any deal was to be done.