Former Everton forward Marcus Bent has claimed that Southampton striker Danny Ings is indeed a top Toffees transfer target ahead of the summer window.

Speaking with authority and referencing connections at Goodison Park, Bent believes that Everton transfer chiefs will look to bolster their existing forward options.

With the likes of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the Toffees’ books, Bent has highlighted how Ings is being considered as a serious candidate to bolster the Merseyside club’s options.

Speaking to Goodison News [via FootballFanCast], the former professional forward said:

“They definitely need to bring someone in, they’re talking about Ings. He’s 28.

“He’s not going to be a replacement for years, he’s not going to be at the club for years. He’s doing well at the minute.

“But talking to a couple of people at the club, he’d be a good buy, I wouldn’t say a cheap buy, but he’d be someone who would come in and probably play around DCL and he’d get his number of goals too, I think.”

Read Southampton Verdict

A sense of inevitability is creeping in surrounding the fact that Southampton chiefs could be tempted into cashing in on the talismanic marksman.

With his contract set to expire next summer, the 28-year-old former Burnley and Liverpool man could be hot property after a campaign that saw him buoy his side to safety with 12 league goals.

Despite struggle with injury on numerous occasions throughout his Saints career, the England international will be hoping to continue to perform consistently in the upper echelon of English football – in or out of Southampton colours.

Ralph Hasenhuttl, as quoted by the Evening Standard, has iterated his hopes that Ings can be retained – though it remains to be seen if Southampton officials are prepared to allow their asset to depart for free next summer from a financial standpoint.

Will Southampton cash in on Ings?