The Daily Record reports that both Rangers and Celtic sent scouts to watch Lawrence Shankland at the weekend.
It’s claimed that Billy McLaren represented the Gers, while Celtic employee Tosh McKinlay also took in the Arabs’ mauling of Greenock Morton.
Shankland certainly put his best foot forward on the day, too.
He netted a hat-trick, with his first two goals coming in the first five minutes, helping his side to a convincing 6-0 win.
That’s now an incredible 15 goals in 12 matches for the former Ayr United striker [Soccerbase], who is providing much of the momentum for United’s promotion challenge.
Rangers and Celtic could soon do battle for Shankland
The presence of scouts from both Old Firm clubs, suggests they are at least monitoring the 24-year-old ahead of the January transfer window.
Given his prolific scoring exploits, it’s possible that down the line we could see something of a transfer tug of war between Scotland’s top 2 clubs.
Shankland is a Rangers fan and therefore, you would think the Gers have a big early advantage in any potential future negotiations.
The big question, though, is why wait until now to scout him?
The player’s fantastic start to the Championship season is no flash in the pan. After all, he netted 34 times for Ayr United last season, having notched 29 goals the season before that [Soccerbase].
He seemed an obvious candidate to bring in as third-choice striker ahead of the 2019/20 season. Out of contract at Somerset Park, he was available on a free. Yet, despite the lack of financial risk, no move was made and United snapped him up on a three-year deal.
Now, any move for the marksman will presumably involve a considerable fee.
People will contest he’s unproven in the top flight, and that is true. Yet, with 78 goals in two and a bit seasons, it’s clear that he’s simply too good for the second tier.