Former Ayr United manager Ian McCall has claimed Rangers came close to signing Lawrence Shankland ahead of their city rivals before the striker signed for Dundee United.
McCall, now in charge of Partick Thistle, was speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsround when discussing Rangers’ interest in Shankland, who the Daily Record claim is still a target of Steven Gerrard’s Gers.
Rangers and their Old Firm enemy are said to have been scouting Shankland heavily in recent weeks as he has been thriving at Dundee with 15 goals in 12 games, including 13 in seven Scottish Championship encounters (TransferMarkt).
Either of the Gers or Hoops could have secured the 24-year-old’s services on a pre-contract agreement in January, though, but instead the £405,000-rated (TransferMarkt) hitman moved to the Terrors as a free agent in the summer.
McCall has now revealed that both sides approached the forward while he was at Ayr to discuss a potential move, with Rangers the closest, but no deal came to fruition.
“It was very close, particularly for one of them to come in and take him,” he told BBC Sport Scotland’s Sportsround, via quotes by the Daily Record, before confirming that Rangers were the side he had referred to.
“There was interest from a lot of other clubs. I don’t think there was anything firm, or firm enough, and Lawrence has made a choice that didn’t sit well with a lot of Ayr United supporters, because [Dundee are] in the same league, but in terms of the club – not in terms of the team – it’s a step up.”
Rangers certainly seem to have missed out on something special by not striking an agreement with Shankland at the start of the year, as he is thriving in his new surroundings and did that at Ayr United, too.
In 41 games last season, the Glasgow-born striker hit 34 goals, including 24 in 31 Championship games (TransferMarkt), in which he also recorded five of his eight assists.
The Gers have not struggled for goals with Alfredo Morelos striking five and Jermain Defoe six in the Premiership (WhoScored), but only ludicrous contract demands would have been sufficient reason not to pursue a third hitman.
Is Lawrence Shankland good enough for Rangers?
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