Football Insider reported late last month that the Villans are willing to entertain offers for the 29-year-old in the summer transfer window. A source at the club told the outlet that Steven Gerrard is prepared to sell the £120,000-per-week Englishman to free up some funds for a top-class replacement.
Villa paid £25m to sign Ings from Southampton just 10 months ago, when Dean Smith was in charge in the Midlands.
The striker made 22 Premier League starts and a further eight substitute appearances in what may yet prove to be his only season at the club.
Speaking to Football Insider, Kenny hinted that a rift may have formed behind the scenes.
The former Republic of Ireland international said that the development was a ‘surprise’ and isn’t sure whether Villa will be able to land a significant upgrade on Ings, who is now valued at £19.8m by Transfermarkt.
Kenny said: “You wonder if something has happened behind closed doors if he has been transfer listed. They have already signed a number of players and I’m sure they have the money to go out and get a few more.
“Who that will be, I don’t know. No matter what happens, they will want to get someone in before they let him go.
“You could do a lot worse than Ings so it is a bit of a surprise, that one.”
It’s probably fair to say that Ings’ exploits in 2021/22 were a little underwhelming. He only managed to score seven top-flight goals, having averaged 13.6 per season across his three years at Southampton.
However, the 29-year-old did record six assists, the joint-most in the Villa ranks.
How many more signings do Villa need to make this summer?
Also, there were promising signs when he was deployed in a front two alongside Ollie Watkins, with Noel Whelan suggesting that the ‘phenomenal finisher‘ was ‘flourishing’ next to a strike partner.
Perhaps Ings deserves one more year to prove his worth at Villa Park off the back of a full pre-season with Gerrard.
In other news, read this significant Luis Suarez transfer claim.
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