According to reports, Manchester United have emerged as the new favourites to sign Danny Ings during the January transfer window.
The 22-year-old has impressed during his debut season in the Premier League, scoring nine goals and assisting four more in 29 appearances. Indeed, whilst no one-man team it could be argued that without him Burnley would be as good as relegated, but as it stands Sean Dyche’s side are just two points from safety with six fixtures still to play.
Ings is out of contract in the summer, though, and the Turf Moor club are resigned to losing their star striker even if they do avoid an instant return to the Championship. There has been plenty of interest in the former Bournemouth youngster, who met with Real Sociedad coach David Moyes in January to discuss the possibility of a move to Spain.
The player is thought to favour staying in England, especially as he harbours ambitions of breaking into Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2016, and Brendan Rodgers is willing to offer him a grand platform at Anfield. The Reds boss wanted to strike a deal with the Clarets in the New Year, and although this failed, he is expected to renew his interest.
But according to the Daily Mail, the Anfield club could be pipped to his signature by their biggest rivals. The tabloid claims United have already been in touch with Burnley over a possible deal for Ings, who scored at Old Trafford during a 3-1 defeat in February. Although the England Under-21 international is out of contract in the summer, his club are still likely to receive around £5million in compensation if he joins a domestic rival.
Under Premier League Rule U8, an English club can instead agree a fee and commit the player to a pre-contract, which would guarantee he signed during the summer. And this is the approach Louis van Gaal appears to be taking, as he looks to bolster his attacking options particularly as Radamel Falcao is unlikely to be offered a permanent move from Monaco and the future of Robin van Persie remains very much in doubt.