Southampton lead race to sign Liverpool striker Danny Ings

Liverpool's new signing goalkeeper Alisson Becker celebrates the second goal during the preseason friendly match between Liverpool FC and Torino FC at Anfield

It may seem odd that the man set to benefit most from pre-season is a player who is yet to kick a ball for Southampton but that is the case for Danny Ings, after it became clear the Saints desperately need an attacking boost.

Liverpool FC have invested significantly in their squad in the summer transfer window ahead of a potential title push in the 2018-19 Premier League season.

Despite interest from Crystal Palace and Newcastle United, Liverpool were unable to seal a deal for Ings until the last hour of Thursday's deadline.

Asked about the deal becoming permanent next summer, Hughes added: "It is a loan initially but that is probably why the negotiations took so long.

The biggest emotion is how much we will miss him", said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp of the Winchester native who was with Anfield for three years.

The Reds were one of the most exciting teams to watch in world football last season, thrilling fans with their own unique brand of expansive, high-octane football.

They did finish a distant 25 points adrift of Pep Guardiola's magnificent City side, however, and Klopp's men will have to make drastic improvements this season, if they are to have any chance of toppling the Citizens. Honestly, if you could bottle character and spirit, his would sell worldwide - he is so incredibly positive and full of energy.

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Southampton manager Mark Hughes thinks the Danny Ings signing is a "win-win" for all parties.

It was unclear whether Southampton had got the paperwork in on time.

He said: "We have admired him for some time now, not only for his ability, but also his character and personality, which we feel will be an ideal fit in our dressing room".

'He's obviously a local boy, who gives us another excellent option up front.

"It is a very unusual feeling saying goodbye to Danny".

"So we say farewell to a friend, but for Danny I know the best chapters in his personal story are still to be written".

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