Celtic have shown a strong interest in Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland, with the Hoops keeping a close watch on the player.
Football Insider reported that the Scottish champions have lined up “regular transfer missions” to assess the 24-year-old, who they feel is capable of thriving in the Premiership and has been valued at £1m-plus.
The Daily Record had claimed that Shankland has attracted scouts from both Celtic and Rangers in recent weeks.
Shankland already has experience of the Scottish Premiership, but it does not make for good reading, with no goals in his 17 games in the division for Aberdeen five seasons ago.
However, he has gone on to become a hugely prolific scorer in lower divisions, with 33 goals in 43 League One appearances and 51 in 102 Championship games, including an extraordinary run of 15 goals in 13 matches in all competitions in the current campaign.
That magnificent form for Dundee United earned him a call-up to the Scotland squad and he marked his first start for the national team with a goal in last weekend’s 6-0 drubbing of San Marino. [via TransferMarkt]
However, most of the Hoops’ goals have come from wingers or attacking midfield players. While Odsonne Edouard at centre-forward has been in fine form with nine goals, the next most prolific striker is Leigh Griffiths with three, while Vakoun Issouf Bayo has scored just once this season. [via TransferMarkt]
Also, there is a strong possibility that Edouard may not be at the club for much longer, with the 21-year-old allegedly open to moving further afield (according to Football Insider) as the likes of Napoli (as per Daily Mail), Lyon (as per Football Insider) and Borussia Dortmund (as per Sky.de‘s Man Bielefeld, via Sport Witness) all eye him up.
Edouard would be a very difficult striker to replace if he does leave Celtic next year and, if Shankland came in subsequently, there may be substantial expectation on him to live up to the Frenchman’s billing.
That could be a big ask for a striker who has never scored in the Premiership, but the 24-year-old could hardly be in better form at the minute. If he can keep that going throughout the season, a bid of just over £1m seems well worth trying for Celtic to boost their centre-forward options.
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