Young English forward Danny Ings has begun to fill the 25-goal void left at Burnley by Charlie Austin’s summer transfer to QPR and his prolific start to the season has a number of Premier League clubs preparing to land his signature in January.
The 21-year-old’s brace against Birmingham last time out brings his Championship tally for the season to five goals in seven games and the Winchester native has also bagged in both of the Clarets’ Capital One Cup wins over York and Preston.
Such form has brought Ings to the attention of a host of top flight scouts, with Sunderland and Crystal Palace amongst the teams keeping an eye on the player, but Newcastle and Aston Villa are set to be the last men standing in this race when the transfer window reopens.
The Geordies – who were linked with Ings when he was an 18-year-old at Bournemouth – finally witnessed one of their strikers netting a Premier League goal this season when Yoan Gouffran scored the winner after coming off the bench last time out against the Villans.
They are out to 15/2 to be relegated after that 2-1 victory, but that price may not be around for long with trips to Everton and a Tyne-Wear derby at Sunderland coming up next month, as well as home ties against league-leaders Liverpool and Chelsea either side of their visit to the Stadium of Light.
Hatem Ben Arfa’s two strikes are Newcastle’s only other goals in the league so far and manager Alan Pardew has admitted the club have failed to sufficiently replace Demba Ba.
Villa posses one Europe’s most feared marksmen in Christian Benteke, but beyond the big Belgian Paul Lambert has few forward options with new signing from Lazio Libor Kozak without a league goal in 16 months and former Aalborg striker Nicklas Helenius deemed unworthy of a start so far.
With multiple Premier League sides vying for their man’s scribble Burnley have slapped a £7m price-tag on Ings, which is a fairly realistic valuation in the current financial climate.
Jay Rodriguez was also attracting interest from big clubs before his summer 2012 move from Turf Moor to Southampton for the same money, which shows how high a price can rise when there is sufficient interest, whereas Austin’s £4m move to Loftus Road in August came after the player had failed a medical at Hull.