Celtic sent scouts to watch Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland in action over the weekend, according to an exclusive report in The Daily Record.

The paper say club talent spotter Tosh McKinlay was in attendance at Tannadice on Saturday to watch him net a hat-trick against Morton.

It comes after regular Celtic scouting missions to watch the player in action last term, according to the report.


The player was available on a free transfer during the summer transfer window after his Ayr United contract expired, but it was the Scottish Championship side that managed to land him.

It’s proven to be one of the best transfers in Scotland this season given his form.

(Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Worth a move?

Shankland is certainly proving he is on the right track as an exciting, emerging striker.

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This season he’s already scored an incredible 15 goals and is almost single-handedly pushing United’s promotion bid. Last week perhaps defined that best, with the 24-year-old scoring two late goals to overturn a loss against Arbroath into a huge three points.

This weekend, the match McKinlay scouted, he netted a hat-trick.

It’s not a freak season either. Last term he scored 34 goals for Ayr United, with 27 coming in the season prior. It’s a phenomenal record.

The obvious caveat is that he’s never proved himself at the top level in Scotland. His only experience of the Scottish Premiership to date was a spell at Aberdeen early in his career, before he really found his shooting boots.

Celtic already have a host of excellent strikers, but Shankland could prove to be an effective poacher for us if given an opportunity.

With other clubs, including rivals Rangers, also showing interest, he’s certainly not a player to dismiss out of hand simply because he plays in the Championship.

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