Southampton have insisted they have no intention of selling Danny Ings, but coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has said the forward’s contractual situation is not ideal.
Ings is in the final year of his Saints contract and rejected a new offer from the club earlier this summer.
The England international has been strongly linked with a move to Tottenham, with new Spurs coach Nuno Espirito Santo keen to bring him in as a partner for Harry Kane.
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It would appear any bid for the 28-year-old will be strongly resisted by Southampton.
"We need this player, we want him to play for us," Hasenhuttl told BBC Radio Solent. "But I think it's never helpful to go into the last season with one year left - this is what I think he should know."
He's our player for another year, we paid a lot of money for him. When we brought him here, we invested a lot to get him to the highest level and how he is at the moment. We stuck with him with all these injuries he had, gave him the time to recover, gave him the time to perform.
"There's no reason to sell him, but it's always a risk for the player when you go into your final year without a contract. That's why it's never good for nobody, not for us, not for him, because you never know what can happen in football - injuries can happen, which nobody wants.
"People on our team are telling him what to do, we have our opinions about what we want him to do. He's our player and we'd love him to be here, but one thing is also clear - when he is not extending his contract, that it is not a perfect situation for him, it's not a perfect situation for us."
It was reported earlier this month that Ings had rejected a new contract, and Hasenhuttl was unhappy with how the news made it into the public domain.
"Messages like he doesn't accept our contract, he doesn't want to extend his contract, doesn't help nobody - not him, not us,” Hasenhuttl said. “I don't know who sent these messages, it's not coming from our side, definitely not."
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