BOSS Ralph Hasenhuttl is “positive” Saints can keep hold of star man Danny Ings following the striker’s clinical match-winning display against Crystal Palace.

Saints top scorer Ings celebrated his return from a two-game injury absence by scoring twice – including his 100th goal in professional senior club football – as Saints came from behind to beat the Eagles 3-1.

The England international, who had been sidelined with a hamstring problem, has a year remaining on his existing contract and has been repeatedly linked with a move away from St Mary’s.

The likes of Manchester City and Tottenham have been linked with Ings’s services, but Hasenhuttl insisted Saints could strike a deal with the frontman “in the next few months”.

Asked about the importance of keeping Ings, Hasenhuttl said: “I think that he knows that we want him to stay with us as long as he wants.

“For us, it’s important that he stays with us.

“I am positive that it will happen, maybe not now, but maybe we will find in the next few months a chance to make this happen.”

Hasenhuttl has been regularly questioned about Ings’s future on the south coast, with chief executive Martin Semmens last week also asked whether the frontman would sign a new deal.

Speaking at an online fans’ forum, Semmens said: “I think he probably will.

“Like I’ve said all along, Danny’s been really open and clear with his communication with the club and what he wants to do.

“He’s working hard for us.

“He’s committed to us, he’s committed to playing for England in the summer – we have no issue with Danny.

“In the end, as I’ve said every time, they are not robots, they don’t have to do what we tell them to do.

“The players are free to make their own choices and Danny will make his own choice but, if you ask me now, I think Danny will be with us next season.

“We hope he will commit to the club and be with us until the end of his career and beyond. That’s what I think will happen, but you never know in football.

“I always say try and remember they have their own desires and their own wishes and they are not just there as robots.

“What I can tell you, and Ralph will say the same, is that Danny has never done anything but be incredibly hardworking and committed to this club.”

Ings has netted 46 times in 97 games since joining Saints – initially on loan - in 2018.