Manchester City are eyeing Southampton's Danny Ings as a potential replacement for Sergio Aguero, and Darren Bent believes he would score more goals than Gabriel Jesus if he signs for the quadruple-chasing side.
What's the story?
Erling Haaland has been widely touted as Aguero's successor in recent months, but a report from Sky Sports on Monday evening suggested that City may look a little closer to home for their next centre-forward acquisition.
The report claims that, amid widespread interest in Haaland and his £100m market valuation, Ings has been identified as a more attainable option.
And with Ings set to enter the final year of his contract in the summer window, the Citizens are in a strong position to conduct business with Southampton.
Darren Bent's comments
News concerning City's interest in Ings was a hot talking point on Tuesday morning, and the former Premier League striker Bent offered his thoughts on the news while speaking to talkSPORT.
"If you’re talking about someone replacing Aguero, it’s virtually impossible, you’re not going to find someone who can come in and do what he has done at that club.
“But I really like the idea of Danny Ings going there, I think he’s a very very good centre forward and he’s been brilliant over the last couple of seasons. He has been plagued by injuries, but I think he’d do a job there.
“You put him around better players who create so many opportunities, he is an unbelievable finisher, really really good finisher, so if you put him in situations where he can score goal I can guarantee you he’d score more goals in that team than Gabriel Jesus.
“The only thing that would put people off this signing is snobbery. Fans probably think they should be going for players like Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, but signing a player of Ings’ quality is a no-brainer.
“He’s a proven goalscorer in the Premier League and if I was at Man City, I’d get him in now, get someone like him in the door for decent money, and then go after your Haalands or your Mbappes.”
A good fit for Man City?
The England international has flourished since leaving Liverpool for Southampton, scoring 42 goals in 92 games thus far, and Bent is absolutely spot on with his assessment.
Though injuries have plagued Ings' career and continue to stunt his ascendancy into a bracket alongside Europe's top strikers, there is little doubting his credentials to play for a club of City's stature.
He has both the broad technical ability to link the play in the final-third and the poacher's instinct to round off a free-flowing move, while his dogged determination to retrieve possession certainly aligns with Guardiola's demands.
City fans will be hoping to see a marque signing of Haaland or Harry Kane's stature arrive at the Etihad Stadium to replace Aguero, but Ings represents a shrewd, financially-viable alternative in the event that they are priced out of deals for the aforementioned duo.
Would Ings want to join City?
This wouldn't be a "no-brainer" for Ings.
The 28-year-old forward is in his prime and arguably the most influential player at Southampton.
At City, however, he'd be rotated on a regular basis and represent just one of a multitude of superstars.
He'd almost certainly have to trade status and a guaranteed starting berth for a more understated squad role.
Given how things turned out during his injury-hit spell at Liverpool, he may well be averse to the prospect of joining City despite the obvious allure of silverware, money and Guardiola.
It's a major dilemma for Ings to unpick ahead of a potentially career-defining summer.News Now - Sport News