Our View: Celtic should be watching Shankland closely vs Hibs as other clubs circle
Although Celtic have already signed a striker during this January transfer window, there’s every chance we move for another one in the closing stages of this week.
At the start of the month when Neil Lennon and his squad were sunning it up in Dubai on a warm-weather training trip, reports in the media suggested that the Hoops weren’t on the hunt for one forward, but two (The Sunday Post).
The Scottish Sun also reported mid-month that struggling striker Vakoun Bayo had requested a loan move away from the club, even if it meant signing for another team in Scotland.
It all leaves the door open for a late deal to be struck.
Along the way, we’ve been linked with a few names in attack but one that has popped up consistently over the last two seasons is Lawrence Shankland.
What’s his current transfer status?
As far back as December 2018 Celtic have been credited with an interest in the player (Wales Online), with reports in September (Daily Record) and this month (Scottish Sun) suggesting that we had scouted the Scotland international in action for Dundee United.
Now it appears other clubs are on the case too, with The Scottish Sun reporting today that Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers will both be in attendance at Easter Road tonight to watch him play in the Scottish Cup against top-flight Hibernian.
The paper say that United now value him at £3m and aren’t keen to sell.
However, as we know, seven-figure bids produce results in Scottish football.
It was reported this morning by local paper The Courier that a massive 22 scouts were in attendance to watch the player at the weekend.
Tonight could be last chance for Celtic check him out
The replay at Easter Road this evening is a great opportunity for Celtic scouts to perform one more check on the player and figure out if he is worth a seven-figure fee like the one quoted this week.
So far Shankland has mostly done the business against lower-league opposition but if he impresses tonight against a Scottish Premiership and finds himself on the scoresheet again, it could say a lot about his potential.
With Stoke and QPR apparently serious about their interest too, tonight’s fixture could be our last chance to run those kinds of checks before English clubs look to splash the cash.
A huge 25 goals in 25 appearances (Transfermarkt) for a big promotion-chasing side like United this season was always going to attract eyeballs.
If Celtic’s interest is legitimately strong then this week could be the time to make our move or we risk seeing another Scottish talent heading south.