Robbie Neilson has confirmed Jonny Hayes is a Dundee United transfer target – and revealed the Terrors haven’t received any bids for Lawrence Shankland since the 2019/20 campaign finished.
Neilson admits the Premiership new boys are interested in taking Hayes – allowed to leave Celtic after his contract ended last month – to Tannadice this summer.
He faces a battle with Aberdeen for the Irishman’s signature, with Derek McInnes keen to take him back to Pittodrie where he remains a popular figure after five seasons with the Dons before his move to Parkhead in 2017.
Neilson told the BBC: “We obviously know Jonny, he’s been a great player over the years.
“He’s one that we’ve spoken about. But again, financially we don’t know where we are.”
He also said there had been no recent offers for United’s star man Shankland, who has been linked with Rangers, Celtic, Nottingham Forest and Stoke.
The 24-year-old was outstanding last season, scoring 29 goals in 35 games for club and country, and his form earned him a nomination for the football writers’ Player of the Year alongside Gers striker Alfredo Morelos and Celts duo Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor.
Neilson said: “There’s interest and there’s people speaking in the background but there’s nothing concrete.
“I think the market for teams – and it’ll be interesting for Lawrence – is down in England.
“They obviously aren’t even back playing again. Teams don’t know where they’re going to be, what the budgets are going to be and when the market is going to open up.
“Until that opens up, I don’t think there’ll be any movement.
“From a personal perspective, I think Lawrence should prove himself in the Premiership (with United) at the highest level, try to get into the Scotland setup again and establish himself in it.
“Then look to make the move off the back of that.”
The Championship-winning gaffer also said that Dunfermline striker Kevin Nisbet remains on United’s radar.
They made a big-money deadline day bid for the 23-year-old – tipped to eventually replace Shankland – in January.
Hibs were the first club to show their hand in the race for Nisbet, submitting a £350,000 offer plus £150,000 worth of add-ons for him.
It’s understood the Tangerines went even higher to try to tempt the Pars into doing business.
But Dunfermline – who finished sixth after the season was halted in the wake of the controversial SPFL vote – still had the promotion play-offs in their sights and were unwilling to sell their star man.
Neilson added: “Kevin at Dunfermline is one we had an interest in back in January. We put a significant offer in for him but couldn’t get the deal done.
“He’s one that’s on the list. But like I say, it’s uncertain times. What the budget’s going to be? Can we do it?
“There are positions we think we need to fill. Tony (Asghar, United’s sporting director) is working on that at the moment.
“One or two and we’ll take it from there. Yeah, they (Hayes and Nisbet) are two players we’re looking at, two players we’re interested in.
“But it’s so uncertain we just don’t know what we can do.”