Danny Ings is Tottenham's top transfer target

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Tottenham Hotspur have made Southampton striker Danny Ings their priority signing this summer with a firm belief that he can play in attack alongside Harry Kane, whom they remain determined to keep at the club.

Recruitment meetings that have followed the appointment of new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, as well as new managing director Fabio Paratici, have recommended Spurs pursue a pre-existing interest in Ings. He is a player whom chairman Daniel Levy has tried to sign in the past, most notably when Ings became a free agent in 2015 at Burnley, eventually joining Liverpool.

The England international, who turns 29 this month, has made it clear to Southampton that he will not sign the four-year deal currently on offer and the consensus is that he will not be permitted to move into the final years of his current Saints deal. He would be worth around £20 million in the current market, given his age and contractual status.

Nuno is understood to want to switch Spurs’ style to a two-man attack with a Premier League-ready goalscorer alongside the England captain. He already has Heung-min Son, with whom the club hope to finalise a new deal soon. The squad’s profile needs greater options in attack. Brazilian striker Carlos Vinicius failed to make an impression on loan last season and will not return.

Ings, who narrowly missed out on the 30-man provisional England squad for the European Championship, is a tempting prospect for a number of clubs. Manchester United inquired about him in January last year and there was also interest last season from champions Manchester City.

He scored 13 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions last season, including 12 in the league for a side that finished 15th – contributing more than a quarter of all league goals Southampton scored. 

Saints have made their first major signing of the window – Romain Perraud, a left-back from French Ligue 1 side Brest. Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong is another the club have reportedly shown an interest in signing.