Liverpool’s search for striker reinforcements has directed them to Burnley’s door, from behind which they will attempt to procure Danny Ings.
The Clarets can expect a bid from their Merseyside counterparts before Monday’s transfer deadline and although Sean Dyche has been firm in his stance that his leading scorer won’t be leaving, the Ginger Mourinho would be bonkers not to accept this deal.
Ings – 6/1 to open the scoring when Burnley travel to Sunderland this weekend – is out of contract this season and can depart Turf Moor for wherever he wishes after June 30th.
Whoever convinces the England Under-21 man to sign for them will have to pay compensation as the former Southampton youth is under 24, but this tribunal-settled sum will be significantly lower than what Burnley could command for him as the transfer window edges closer to closing.
Bids in the region of £5m from numerous interested parties, including Tottenham and Real Sociedad, have been mooted this month, which is a significant profit on the £1m they paid Bournemouth for Ings in 2011.
The Clarets, however, believe they’ve got a better chance of staying up if they retain Ings and will reject overtures to take him now in the hope of copping a bigger bounty from the inflated TV deals etc Premier League survival brings about.
Brendan Rodgers, however, has concocted a compromise that will allow Burnley to keep their seven-goal striker until they end of the season and make a decent profit on him.
Signing him now and loaning him back to Lancashire will ensure Liverpool avoid a summer skirmish for Ings’ services, and won’t hamper Burnley’s master plan to beat the drop – a feat they’re currently 23/20 to achieve.
In doing so, they’ll be mirroring Manchester United’s move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha two years ago.
The one-cap England international was immediately loaned back to the Eagles following a January switch to Old Trafford and he played a key part in firing the Selhurst Park club to promotion.
Zaha concluded the 2012/13 campaign with eight goals in 43 outings, but his two goals in the play-off semi-final second-leg win over Brighton proved all-important as the south London club booked a Wembley date with Watford.
A 1-0 victory over the Hornets was brought about via a Kevin Phillips penalty, earned by the Ivory Coast-born flyer’s run before he headed to Manchester.
If Ings can replicate these heroics with some vital strikes – three in four games this month suggests he’s discovering his best form ahead of the relegation run in – it’s a win-win transfer Burnley can’t afford to dismiss.