Dundee United assistant manager Lee McCulloch has stated that he expects plenty of bids for Celtic-linked Lawrence Shankland.
The Hoops were originally reported to be interested in the striker back in September (Daily Record). Shankland has managed to score two hat-tricks in front of Celtic scouts too. After his trio of goals in September, he then fired home a perfect hat-trick against Partick Thistle in front of Nick Hammond last week. (Scottish Sun).
And speaking in the Scottish Sun about his side’s key-man, McCulloch has admitted he’s fully expecting bids before the end of the month.
“We want to keep him as long as we can, but I’d be staggered if bids don’t come in for him this month. Both of the Old Firm must be interested in him simply because of the goals return he has.
“Lawrence can play as a lone striker or one of two up front and you can see how good he is outside the box as well. His touch and his movement have both improved.
“Shanks works so hard — he goes into the gym before and after training every day. He’s grounded and always wants to do extra, which is great to see. It’s so important we keep Lawrence at the club.”
United not budging despite strong Championship lead
It’s interesting to continuously hear United be so adamant that he can’t leave in January. They’re currently 17 points clear at the top of the Championship – nobody looks like touching them at the moment.
Yet, despite that mammoth advantage, they still see it as essential that he stays for the next six months. Of course, it could be that they feel they can make a push in the Scottish Cup this season, and Shankland would certainly be essential to that.
But the perspective on this deal has changed from a Celtic point of view. After the signing of Patryk Klimala, you can’t see the club being held to ransom over anyone. United haven’t named a fee for their prized asset, but Robbie Neilson doesn’t feel they’ll be offered what they want (Evening Telegraph).
Players are known to be more expensive in January, but it’s a tricky situation for the Hoops. Given the level of apparent interest in Shankland (Daily Record), we may have to move quickly. There will certainly be plenty of suitors if we wait until the end of the season.
It will certainly be worth keeping an eye on Dundee United vs Hibernian this weekend in the Scottish Cup. Should Shankland put in another top performance against a Premiership side, it may be worth asking the question of United.
In any case, Celtic fans won’t lose sleep if we miss out on this one. Shankland is a decent prospect, but with Klimala in the door, our striker panic is over.