Dundee United launch ambitious bid to lure goal machine Shankland to Tannadice

© DC ThomsonLawrence Shankland.
Lawrence Shankland.

Dundee United have launched an ambitious bid to lure Ayr United goal machine Lawrence Shankland to Tannadice.

However, they face stiff competition for his signature.

The 23-year-old scored 34 times in 41 run-outs for the Honest Men last term, including four in a 5-0 win at the Tangerines in November.

That form sparked interest from a string of clubs on both sides of the border, with the list including the likes of Rangers, Swansea City and Sunderland.

Early last season Dundee also had a five-figure offer for the former Aberdeen man knocked back by Ayr, who decided to hang on to him despite knowing he was almost certain to move under freedom of contract this summer.

Shortly after the end of the season he indicated he would be on the move and it’s something of a surprise that, with pre-season now under way at most clubs, he’s not been snapped up.

That, though, is understood to be because he’s wanted to take time to consider all his options and he’s held talks with several outfits, including Sunderland.

Hull City have also joined the chase for him and he is likely to receive a firm offer from them but that’s not stopped United throwing their hat in the ring.

After attempts to make Pavol Safranko’s loan move from Aalborg permanent, manager Robbie Neilson has made signing a front man a priority and it’s now been confirmed Shankland is on his list of possibles.

“We are in talks with Lawrence Shankland’s representatives and we have made an offer to come to Dundee United,” said Tannadice sporting director Tony Asghar.

“We see Lawrence as a top player and we want him to be part of our Championship challenge and beyond.

“We know Lawrence is very much a player in demand and has a lot of offers elsewhere. We are hopeful things will come to a conclusion, either way, very quickly.”

United appreciate a move to the likes of the English Championship may prove to hard for the player to turn down but, backed by millionaire owner Mark Ogren, they are prepared to meet the kind of wages he would earn down south.