Meet the England U21 star wanted by both Southampton and Newcastle

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Southampton are keen to lure Burnley ace Danny Ings to his hometown club but will face stiff competition from Newcastle to land the England U21 striker.

Ings smashed 26 goals to help the Clarets achieve their Premier League dream and has been one of very few bright sparks this term.

The 22-year-old striker took a while to warm up in the top flight but has now hit four goals in his last five games to attract admiring glances from elsewhere in the division.

The former Bournemouth star is out of contract in June and as a result is free to speak to potential suitors at the turn of the year and it is thought that Saints boss Ronald Koeman is hoping the prospect of playing in his home county – not to mention for a team currently occupying a Champions League place – will be too good to turn down.

However, the St Mary’s manager may be forced to move quickly, with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew said to be willing to offer £3m in order to secure Ings’ services in January to lighten the load on his injury-hit squad.

The Magpies are set to be without a host of first team regulars over the coming weeks and the chance to snap up a young, in-form attacking threat for a relatively small fee certainly appeals.

Meanwhile at Southampton Graziano Pelle has led the line well so far this term – hitting six goals in 13 games – and Shane Long has chipped in with two in six.

However, the latter is in need of competition for his place and should either be hit by injury Koeman’s squad may start to struggle.

Next up for the Saints is a trip the Emirates to face Arsenal for which the visitors are priced as 7/2 underdogs.

The Gunners go into the tie as 4/5 favourites, while the draw can be backed at 13/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.